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College of the North Atlantic technology is #springboarding forward

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Picture this - a 10 foot-wide buoy is anchored 1,600 feet off the coast of Newfoundland by a small fishing vessel in high ice-free waves. The buoy holds an integrated cylinder, which is attached to a piston rod, which moves with the rise and fall of the waves, collecting and pumping water back to shore. All done without an external energy source.

Combining technology developed by College of the Atlantic (CNA)' Wave Environment Research Centre (WERC)   with Atmocean technology, the collaboration started testing the prototype in September of the coast of Newfoundland. While harnessing wave energy isn't a new idea, most efforts so far have focused on generating electricity from the swells of the ocean. The application of this clean technology does not end there, Atmocean also wants to use the pressurized seawater arriving on shore, for use at a desalination facility without the need for grid-tied electricity or costly fossil fuels to run generators, in the hope that this system could drive down the high costs of desalination, some of which arise simply from pumping water to the plant in the first place.

Michael Graham of WERC also sees its uses in places without reliable power or water. Agriculture, potable water sources, and hygiene all stand to benefit from efficient desalination if it can be brought to remote communities, and the technology can be used as a safeguard against drought all over the world.

CNA's technology was supported by Springboard Atlantic's Innovation Mobilization Fund and Springboard is looking forward to seeing its development and progression into the marketplace. Currently, in its fifth round of sea trials, Atmocean is hopeful the system will be up and running by the end of next year, bringing with it the potential to transform an industry that, so far, has failed to come to shore.

To read the full article in Popular Mechanics, click here.

Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash