Latest News
Next Wave Rider under development
18 May 2015
The Wave Rider Energy team is proud to announce development of the latest Wave Rider.

Read More
Wave Rider project moves to next phase
1 July 2013
Wave Rider Energy announces next phase of the multi-million dollar project...


Next Wave Rider under development
18 May 2015

The Wave Rider Energy team is proud to announce that great progress is being made with the development of the latest Wave Rider wave energy converter.

18 May Update

After the extensive sea trial in South Australian waters as part of a testing phase designed to validate the concept of the technology all data of the successful trial was analyzed and a production version is currently being designed. This Wave Rider will have a capacity of 2 Megawatts and is ideally suited to supply electricity to remote communities and also to desalinate water.

May update

In the meantime time Wave Rider Energy has also started to embark on the development of small scale wave energy units that are very mobile and can provide energy in smaller quantities for domestic use or for smaller commercial applications in remote locations.

Wave Rider Project moves to next phase
1 July 2013

Wave Rider Energy Pty Ltd announced today the next phase of its multi-million dollar project to develop wave energy along the South Australian coastline with the construction of a new pre-commercial Wave Rider platform.

Wave Rider Energy Chief Executive Christian Gerlach said a recent sea trial for a pilot plant confirmed the Company had created new technology to generate energy from waves and deliver it to consumers.

Wave Rider Energy is a renewable energy technology company based in Adelaide, Australia. The focus of Wave Rider Energy is to develop a unique and efficient wave energy conversion technology. The first Wave Rider pilot plant was scheduled for deployment near Elliston, South Australia.

The Company recently took the pilot plant on an extensive sea trial in South Australian waters as part of a testing phase designed to validate the concept of the technology.

“We were very satisfied with the performance of the Wave Rider during the sea trial,” Mr Gerlach said.

“The Wave Rider generated electricity from ocean waves and behaved well and remained stable in high wave conditions proving the concept of the technology with a lot of important data collected.”

“The current pilot has provided sufficient data and more testing with this pilot near Elliston will therefore no longer be a requirement.

“The construction of a pre-commercial platform requires significant capital investment in order to reach the commercialisation phase. For that reason the company has decided to rather invest in a new pre-commercial plant than to continue with the current pilot. The new platform will become the operating module designed to produce and deliver energy to South Australian consumers.”

“This project is no longer one focused on developing the prototype.

“The new Wave Rider will be developed with the end use of delivering energy for a community as a primary objective.”

Mr Gerlach said the development phase for the pre-commercialisation plant could take “some time” depending on available technology and support from local industry.

Wave energy pilot plant successfully launched
30 November 2011

Wave Rider Energy is pleased to announce that it has successfully launched the Wave Rider wave energy pilot plant in the Port Adelaide River following its launch on Tuesday November 29, 2011 by Minister for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy, the Honourable Tom Koutsantonis MP.

Wave Rider Energy Managing Director Christian Gerlach said the pilot plant was put to water off the Common User Facility in Osborne, Adelaide on Wednesday November 30 after four years of research, development and construction.

“The Wave Rider is currently moored in the Port Adelaide River and will undergo a period of commissioning before being towed by tugboat to the Eyre Peninsula,” Mr Gerlach said.

The Wave Rider converts the ocean’s kinetic energy into mechanical energy. Mr Gerlach said he expected the pilot plant would begin operating near Elliston on the Eyre Peninsula as part of a pilot project in March 2012.

An open steel cage-type system and seven buoyancy pontoons keep the massive structure afloat, while buoys below the surface move up and down as waves pass through.  Movement of the buoys then causes the rotation of an axle on top of the Wave Rider which, in turn, powers various generators to produce electrical energy.

The structure will be fitted with sensors and video cameras for Wave Rider Energy to monitor its capabilities for the duration of the 12 months after it is launched.

Waves may be the future of SA power generation
29 November 2010

A floating structure to generate electricity from wave power will be tested off the west coast of South Australia.

The Wave Rider is 110 metres long and 13 metres wide and will float about 800 metres off Elliston on Eyre Peninsula.

It generates power by harnessing the kinetic energy of waves pushing against a series of buoys.

The structure is an open steel truss with numerous buoyancy pontoons to keep it afloat.

The managing director of Wave Rider Energy, Christian Gerlach, says the structure might have wide application along the SA coastline in the longer term.

"We found this [area] was a very good starting point for the project because it has one of the highest waves in the world," he said.

"If this all goes well then we're quite keen on seeing a number of those devices along all those hotspots of the South Australian coastline - that's the Eyre Peninsula, that's the southern and western part of Kangaroo Island, as well as the Limestone Coast and south-east.

Wave energy hits the water
8 November 2011

There are then plans to moor the steel structure in Port Adelaide until March next year.

Then, Adelaide company Wave Rider Energy will use tugs to take the plant on a two-day voyage to its mooring place off Elliston on the Eyre Peninsula.

The launch is the culmination of about four years' work on the $5 million pilot project to date, with company managing director Christian Gerlach saying the unique wave energy plant prototype was conceived in China but this was the first time it would be trialled in the world.

"The South Australian coast has excellent wave energy potential - with the Southern Ocean producing the highest and most powerful waves in the world - making it an ideal launching point for the first wave rider," Mr Gerlach said.

The 290-tonne structure will be supported by seven buoyancy pontoons to keep one third of its 4m height above water.

Waves then make 144 individual buoys rise and fall, turning an axle and powering 14 generators.

For the first year, no energy will reach shore.

Instead, about 500 sensors and some video cameras fixed to the structure will wirelessly transmit energy data back to Adelaide.

"Once you can prove it can work the potential is quite tremendous," Mr Gerlach said.

He said the company would look to build a working plant in "one to two years", that could produce about one megawatt of electricity, capable of powering 500 to 700 homes.

"This could power the town of Elliston ... there is also potential for using these for desalinating water, or producing energy for mining sites instead of using diesel generation," Mr Gerlach said.

The open steel cage system was made in 12 sections by RPG Australia in Kilburn then transported to TechPort's facility to be joined together. Mr Gerlach said extensive modelling research was incorporated into the pilot plant design to ensure it could withstand a one-in-100-year storm.

Three large anchors will hold it in place 800m off shore.

The pontoons have arches to deter seals from climbing aboard and affecting its weight ratio.

There are also plans for monitoring any material that may get caught in the structure.

Mr Gerlach said it was a fully mechanical system: "it doesn't use any hydraulics, so there's no risk of leakage of fluids, it doesn't have those potential environmental impacts".

Work was also being undertaken in conjunction with the University of South Australia at Mawson Lakes to develop a paint-coating system for the wave energy converter that could withstand corrosion while in the sea water for 25 to 30 years.

Mr Gerlach said Wave Rider Energy has received environmental approvals and conducted community consultations - speaking to the local surfing, fishing and commercial fishing communities, along with working with the Elliston council.

The structure will be equipped with solar marine safety lights.

Source: Adelaide Now, Belinda Willis

Wave energy ticks a lot of good boxes
27 May 2010

HERE is the perfect power generator: a massively productive, clean system that is in no one's back yard: wave energy, and one company has high hopes for making it economically viable in Australia.

Christian Gerlach, managing director of Wave Rider Energy, says "Wave Rider has a very innovative idea. Our prototype has been very successful, so we are building a 75 per cent-sized platform to test it more thoroughly."

The Wave Rider idea is to have a 250-tonne carbon-steel floating platform, anchored to the sea floor and buoyed by seven pontoons, keeping the whole mechanism always at the face of the waves. There are no hydraulics or fluids involved which have given problems with some of the other technologies tried.

Wave energy is the least developed of the alternative power sources but, on paper at least, has one of the greatest generation potentials and is more predictable than wind or solar. Waves never stop.

According to a report by MIT on enhanced geothermal systems, up to 1kW per square metre of power reaches the earth's surface from the sun. "If we harvested it all, the amount of sunlight hitting the earth's surface in one hour is enough to power the entire world for a year,"' the report says, and notes that oceans, covering more than 70 per cent of the earth's surface, are the planet's largest solar power collectors.

The report says that in Antartica, which has the world's biggest waves, "wave energy potential equates to 80 megawatts per mile of wave crest length, which converts to 150 100w bulbs per foot".

Societas, the British sustainable innovation think tank, says that, as an energy concentrator, the energy per square metre of a wave along the northern coasts of Europe can be 200 to 400 times the energy density of the sun at 20,000 to 70,000 watts, compared to about 100 watts from ground-level solar and 1000 watts from wind. These figures are magnified in southern oceans, where the waves are bigger.

About 100 companies worldwide are researching wave energy. Oceans produce two types of energy: mechanical energy from tides and waves and thermal energy from the sun's heat. Unlike wind power, there are various methods of harnessing the energy in waves, so research into the technology is also varied and in different stages of completion.

Wave Rider's Gerlach says South Australia has three hot spots for wave energy: the Limestone coast near the Victorian border; Kangaroo Island, and most of the sea around the Eyre Peninsula.

The idea is that from the floating platforms sub-sea cables will carry the generated power to substations on land and from there the power is fed into the grid. Gerlach says wave power is especially beneficial for remote and island communities and for mines or other isolated heavy users.

The pilot plant will be built near Elliston on the Eyre Peninsula and be monitored from Adelaide, assessing its performance and other information (such as corrosion and the strength of the mooring) gathered from sensors located on the platform.

In the research phase, the platform will not be connected to the grid.

Gerlach says initial research is very promising and all the regulatory approvals are imminent.

Wave Rider's energy plant off South Australia's Eyre Peninsula coast close to approval
23 February 2010

WAVE Rider Energy says it is close to securing final approval for its $5 million wave energy pilot plant off the Eyre Peninsula coast.

Company director Christian Gerlach has told an Advantage SA sustainability tour that he hopes to have final approvals within a few months.

The pilot plant, earmarked for a location 800m off Elliston, aims to test the commercial viability of the company's wave energy technology.

The State Government approved the plant last year, but it still requires federal approval. Mr Gerlach said he was confident of securing the required permit, and work on the massive 250-tonne structure could begin this year.

"We don't see ourselves as a generator but a provider of this technology," he said.

Wave energy pilot plant planned
19 May 2009

The South Australian Government has approved a $5 million wave energy pilot plant off the Eyre Peninsula coast.

Premier Mike Rann said today that Wave Rider Energy would establish its plant off Elliston and hoped to make the technology commercially viable.

"South Australia is said to have excellent wave energy potential due to the nature of its coastline and the power of waves generated in the Southern Ocean," Mr Rann said.

"Wave energy represents a largely untapped sustainable energy resource and is seen to be one of the most environmentally benign forms of energy generation currently available."

Wave Rider Energy managing director Christian Gerlach said the company's energy converter would be located 800 metres offshore at a depth of 30 metres.

"There will be minimal impact on the environment but potential for future social and economic benefits through sustainable energy generation capability," Mr Gerlach said.