English company introduces new wave power system

STROUD, England 2/14/12 (PennWell) -- British green energy consortium Ecotricity offers a new wave energy device called Searaser.

Searaser units rely on wave swells to move a vertical piston up and down. This piston then pumps pressurized seawater through a pipe to an onshore turbine, where electricity is produced.

Ecotricity also says the units could be used in a system much like conventional pumped-storage hydroelectric systems, meaning the Searaser units wouldn't necessarily be reliant on tidal movement to produce electricity.

Instead, seawater could be pumped into coastal storage reservoirs, where it would be released through generators as required.

The company's move into wave energy comes after the Crown Estate's recent emphasis on ocean power development, the company says.

Ecotricity's goal is to produce a commercial-scale Searaser within a year and have 200 units around the British coastline within five years.

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