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Searaser sails through trials

17 October 2014
UK green energy player Ecotricity has wrapped up first-stage testing of its Searaser device at Plymouth University’s CoastLAB wave tank. The machine is the brainchild of British inventor Alvin Smith and the company said it is designed to overcome issues of “cost and variable output”. Searaser uses the motion of ocean swell to pump high pressure seawater ashore, where it is used by a hydro turbine. Ecotricity and the Searaser team have spent the past 18 months optimising the design of the device and modelling outputs in real word conditions around the coast of Britain with the assistance of DNV GL Group. Smith said the determining factor in making wave power efficient, and therefore cost-effective, was resilience: “This week’s wave tank testing was carried out to validate the extensive computer modelling we’ve been undertaking. “We’ve put Searaser through the most extreme testing regime here at CoastLAB and it’s passed every challenge.” Ecotricity founder Dale Vince added: “Our vision is for Britain’s electricity needs to be met entirely from our big three renewable energy sources, the wind, the sun and the sea. “We believe these ‘Seamills’ have the potential to produce a significant amount of the electricity that Britain needs.” Ecotricity hopes to have a full-scale prototype in the ocean “in the next 12 months or so” and to be producing electricity from the first commercial array of Searasers “within a few years”
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