Huge waves recorded off Lewis
7 Oct 11 - Ian Harris, Resource Analyst
Monster waves the height of a four storey house have just been
recorded off the coast of Lewis, according to a BBC report earlier
this week. The news is further proof that this Hebridean island's
north west coastline boasts some of the best wave energy resource
anywhere in the world.
This is great news for the UK's wave energy industry and the
reason why Aquamarine Power is proposing to develop an Oyster wave
farm in the area.
Waves of more than 15m (49ft) were measured by devices called
wave rider buoys during gales which occurred off Lewis on Monday
night. The buoys were installed at sea as part of the
Hebridean Marine Energy Futures Project.
The recordings were made by Lews Castle College UHI, which is
involved in the project alongside Aquamarine Power amongst
Of course big waves don't just bring energy; they bring large
structural loads too. The challenge for our industry is to
design efficient wave energy devices that can survive the biggest
waves the oceans can deliver. Far out at sea where waves like those
recorded in Lewis earlier this week occurred, that's a tough
That's why we've designed our Oyster wave energy device to be
installed near to the shore. Oyster sits in seas around 13
metres water depth, between 500m and 1km from shore.
At this depth we can predict accurately the highest possible
wave height (around 9 metres). The intelligent design of
Oyster means that energy can still be absorbed from these large
nearshore waves, while the natural ducking motion of the
Oyster device allows excess energy in a large wave to pass over the
top of the device.
Read the BBC article online.