New rope and cable tech makes waves
A lightweight and long-lasting fibre to connect wave energy devices in the sea has been created.
London’s Brunel University invented the connector from Basaltium, which is made of recycled aluminium strengthened by tiny basalt fibres.
It was developed by the Experimental Techniques Centre and the Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification technology.
The material is then coated in a low-friction nylon to protect it from the elements.
Most wave devices float on the sea surface while the movement of the waves moves a turbine inside, generating electricity.
This power is then carried away by cable inside the mooring ropes.
Lorna Aguilano, Research Fellow at the Experimental Techniques Centre, said: “Generally, at connector point, the ropes deteriorate and end up breaking, with big costs for retrieval.
“Our team has developed a new extra-light material that would solve this problem – increasing the in-service life, minimising capital expenditure and maintenance costs.”