California ocean power tech developer begins prototype construction

Hydrokinetic technology developer Spindrift Energy has begun manufacturing a prototype of its wave power generating unit, the California-based company has announced.

Production of the prototype is in accordance with a US$95,000 Energy Innovation Small Grant (EISG) awarded by the California Energy Commission.

Per the EISG, Spindrift will soon deploy its test unit off the coast of southern California and produce an evaluation of its performance by the end of the year.

“[The prototype] will generate electricity for measurement and analysis purposes only,” Spindrift said in a release, though the company is “confident this prototype and our participation in the grant program will serve as an important catalyst for the near-term installation of large-scale Spindrift devices capable of transmitting electricity to consumers throughout California and the world.”

Plans for the Spindrift generating units show a device that resembles an upright hollow tube. An hourglass-shaped path inside the tube helps force water around a turbine, which is located in the narrowest point of the tube. Wave motion then provides the power needed to turn the turbine, which is connected to an energy-producing unit located at the top of the tube.

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