Renewable energy research hub makes waves online

The University of Western Australia Wave Energy Research Centre’s new website allows quick and easy access to data collected by two wave buoys deployed by the university at the coast of Albany and the Perth metropolitan area.

The website allows public access to real-time data on wave height, period and direction.

Users can also access archived data collected by the two wave buoys and transmitted via the 4G/satellite network.

The Albany-based centre is fast becoming a hub for wave energy expertise, research and development, backed by a $3.75 million state government investment.

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The University of Western Australia hosted a three-day Australian Oceans Renewable Energy Symposium in mid-November.

It brings experts on wave, tidal and wind energy from across the globe to Western Australia to discuss advances in the industry.

The centre is part of a broader $19.5 million commitment by the state government to support the development of wave energy technology and the expansion of wave energy research and capability in Albany, capitalising on the area’s abundant wave resources to attract an entirely new industry to the Great Southern region.

Western Australia regional development minister Alannah MacTiernan said investment into research and innovation is key to developing renewable energy technologies, which can deliver clean energy and create jobs and economic development opportunities for regional Western Australia.

“Research into wave dynamics using the buoys will be an integral part of the work of the [University’s] Wave Energy Research Centre research team, ideally enabling them to develop a model that can predict real-time conditions of the waves in the Albany-Torbay region.

“The ability to predict wave conditions is important for wave technology device design, and this data will be critical for industry developers.

“The data already collected has quantified the excellent wave resource off Torbay; and the team has already reported interest from the Albany community in using this data recreationally for fishing and surfing,” said MacTiernan.