Converting ocean waves into electricity and freshwater
CalWave provides a solution to harness the renewable power of ocean waves to produce electricity and freshwater. Our device is a novel Wave Energy Converter (WEC) called the WaveCarpet that is simple and scalable. Our innovative approach was inspired by the ability of a muddy seafloor to effectively absorb overpassing ocean waves within only a few wavelengths. The unique converter design uses a synthetic-seabed-carpet that has the ability to extract wave energy the same way. The WaveCarpet operates submerged, allowing it to survive stormy seas while causing no visual pollution or posing any collision danger.

The technology is based on research conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of California, Berkeley. CalWave is currently part of the Cyclotron Road program at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory.

An essential piece of the clean energy puzzle

According to the Department of Energy, wave energy has the potential to power over 100 million US homes, but is completely underutilized at the moment. Wave energy has the advantage of higher predictability, nighttime availability, and significantly higher energy density (~30 kW/m of coastline). Such high energy densities also enable the use of the renewable resource for desalination.
  • Solar Energy Capacity Factor 26%
  • Wind Energy Capacity Factor 33%
  • Wave Energy Capacity Factor 40%
Data Source: EIA Electric Power Monthly 2015
Inspired by nature
The ability of muddy seafloors to dampen ocean waves is well documented at various locations around the world. In the Gulf of Mexico, the wave–mud interaction is so strong that the storm waves are damped within 100–200 m! We used this idea to design a wave-energy converter that responds just like mud to harness the energy of waves passing overhead.
Technological Advantages

This Wave Carpet design has distinct technological advantages:



Due to the fact that the carpet is fully submerged, it is able to survive the strong momentum of stormy seas.



The device poses no visual pollution to the ocean surface and no collision danger to boats and sea life.



High, broadband and omnidirectional absorption efficiency of ocean waves.



The modular design allows the device to scale in width for setting a desired output power capacity.

Latest Updates

CalWave Meets Dr. Steven Chu

​ CalWave met Dr. Steven Chu, Former Secretary of Energy and Nobel Laureate, during Dr. Chu’s visit to the University of California, Berkeley. He discussed many of the energy challenges facing the world today, in addition to some hopeful solutions for the... read more

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