The concept was invented by sailing enthusiasts Niels and Keld Hansen in 2000. The challenge was to create a regular output of energy from ocean swells and waves that are 5-10 seconds apart. This was achieved with a row of half-submerged buoys, which rise and fall in turn as the wave passes, forming the iconic part of Wavestar’s design. This allows energy to be continually produced despite waves being periodic.
The machine’s unique storm protection system, one of the many patented aspects of the design, guarantees the machine’s sea survivability and represents a real milestone in the development of wave energy machines.
The Wavestar machine’s efficiency is being continually increased. The design was recently modified to reduce the cost by 40 per cent, while energy harvesting capacity and other aspects of the machine are being constantly improved for better efficiency. The Wavestar machine is less visible and quieter than wind turbines, and it also has a positive impact on wildlife below the machine, creating a sanctuary enhanced by the limits on nearby fishing.
The aesthetic profile of the machine won the prestigious Biennale Prize at the Biennial of Crafts and Design in 2009.