The Danish wave power company Wave Dragon is close to landing major orders, reports financial daily newspaper Børsen. According to the company's chairman Hans Christian Sørensen, British and Portuguese investors are ready to invest around DKK 1bn (USD 214m) over the next three years.
For the last 5 years, a pilot scale version of Wave Dragon has been under test in a Danish fjord. The design is inherently scalable, and a full size 7 MW version costing around DKK 170m (USD 36m) is scheduled to be put into operation off the coast of Wales (where its storm resistance can be fully tested) in August 2009. If test results are satisfactory, Portuguese investors are reportedly ready to put DKK 800m (USD 171m) into 7 to 10 Wave Dragons which will be produced and placed in Portugal, which already has the world's first commercial wave park in operation at Agucadora.
As a form of renewable energy, wave power differs from tidal power in regard to its fundamental energy source. Tidal power results from gravitational and rotational forces, whereas wave power results from the movement of wind over the sea surface. So in a fundamental sense, wave power machines and wind turbines use the same primary energy supply – wind.
In constructional terms, the Wave Dragon is equipped with reflectors which focus the waves towards a ramp, where water overtops into a central reservoir. The pressure height in the reservoir is converted into electricity by allowing the water in the reservoir to flow back down into the sea through a number of vertically positioned turbines.
According to the wave power research group at Aalborg University, the UK firm Pelamis Wave Power is the world leader at present; the Portuguese installation at Agucadora is using Pelamis technology. But if Wave Dragon succeeds in landing major orders in Portugal , it will greatly boost the visibility and competitive potential of Danish wave power technology.