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Peaks and troughs of wave energy, the dreams and the reality









Kavli Royal Society Centre, Chicheley Hall, Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, MK16 9JJ



Organised by Professor Francis Farley FRS, Professor Rod Rainey and Professor John Chaplin

Wave energy machines are now deployed and working, others have clearly failed, new devices are in trial. Speakers will survey the fundamental physics, engineering in the real world, large forces but low velocity, deployment, maintenance and survival: dreams that did not work, what works but is too expensive, what might work better. How much energy is available, what can we expect? 
There is an agreed theoretical framework, a guide to what is possible and impossible.  The fundamental theory is well understood and the various motions in the sea which can be exploited.  Heave, surge and pitch, all have their advantages... and limitations. Many devices work well in the laboratory; but cost, useful life and survival in storms are the crucial factors that determine commercial viability.  Industry leaders will share their experiences, describe the status of the best current devices and discuss the potential for worldwide deployment.
Speakers with experience of oil platforms will speak about rogue waves, strength and fatigue, and the regulatory and insurance costs that must be included. Lessons will be drawn from the deployment of wind farms.
Finally leading scientific advisers from UK, Eire, France and Portugal will discus their national plans and possible collaboration in exploiting the wave power of the Atlantic.
The speakers include leading figures in this field and we are asking them not to advertise their favourite systems but rather to present a balanced rational assessment of the possibilities.

Download the programme here (PDF).

Biographies and audio recordings are available below.
The proceedings of this meeting are scheduled to be published in a future issue of Philosophical Transactions A.

Event organisers

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Schedule of talks

Session 1

5 talks Show detail Hide detail

Hydrodynamic principles of wave power extraction

Professor Chiang Mei, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

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Key features of wave energy

Professor Rod Rainey, Oil and Gas Division, Atkins Ltd, UK

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Heaving buoys, point absorbers and arrays

Professor Johannes Falnes, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway

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Discrete control strategies for resonant wave energy devices

Dr Alain Clément, Laboratoire de Mécanique des Fluides, Ecole Centrale de Nantes, France

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Biodiversity impacts of wave energy

Dr Matthew Witt, PRIMaRE, University of Exeter, UK

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Session 2

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Review of oscillating water columns

Dr Tom Heath, Voith Hydro Wavegen, UK

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Nearshore oscillating wave surge convertors and the development of Oyster

Professor Trevor Whittaker FREng, Queen's University, Ireland

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Pelamis – experience from concept to connection

Dr Richard Yemm, Pelamis Wave Power, UK

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Historical impediments and ideas for removing them

Professor Stephen Salter, University of Edinburgh, UK

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Session 3

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Rubber tubes in the sea

Professor Francis Farley FRS, University of Southampton, UK

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Laboratory testing the Anaconda

Professor John Chaplin, University of Southampton, UK

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Coupled resonant absorbers

Dr Richard Porter, University of Bristol, UK

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Wave energy technology in China

Professor Yage You, Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

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Pacific perspective: from Alaska to New Zealand

Dr Robert Paasch, The Northwest Marine Renewable Energy Center, Oregon State University, USA

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Session 4

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What can wave energy learn from offshore oil and gas?

Dr Rick Jefferys, ConocoPhillips, UK

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Lessons from the wind power industry

Dr Andrew Garrad, GL-Garrad Hassan

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Peaks and troughs of wave energy, the dreams and the reality Kavli Royal Society Centre, Chicheley Hall Newport Pagnell Buckinghamshire MK16 9JJ