Veterans Powering Up with Wave Energy – San Diego Business Journal

By Oliver Townsend May 22, 2024
Veterans Harvesting Wave Power for Clean Energy - San Diego Business Journal.jpegOrginal image from:

Creating clean, renewable energy is a top priority for many individuals and organizations looking to reduce their impact on the environment. Two San Diego veterans, Bill Lyman and Andres Hernandez, are on the verge of launching a revolutionary device that harnesses the power of ocean waves to generate energy. As former military members, their perspective on efficiency and innovation has led them to develop a unique approach to wave energy conversion.

Wave Energy Innovation

Breakwave Energy, the startup founded by Lyman and Hernandez, is set to test its wave-catching device on Lake Erie. Unlike traditional wave energy converters that are placed in the water, their device is located on the shore, minimizing exposure to ocean elements and reducing maintenance costs. This innovative design aims to make wave energy conversion faster, more cost-effective, and easier to implement.

Efficient Energy Conversion

The Breakwave Energy device consists of a vertical stabilizer onshore connected to a horizontal beam that extends over the water. A line running through the beam is attached to a weight transfer unit on the shore and a wave catcher in the water. As waves push the catcher towards the shore, the line lifts the weight, storing potential energy. When the weight is released, it turns a turbine, generating power that can be stored or fed into the grid.

Global Impact

Lyman and Hernandez envision their technology benefiting countries like Indonesia, with remote areas in need of consistent energy sources. By tapping into the vast wave energy potential of coastal regions, Breakwave Energy’s device could revolutionize how power is generated and distributed in developing nations. The scalability and efficiency of their technology make it a promising solution for regions with limited access to traditional energy sources.

Collaborative Development

Breakwave Energy’s journey to bring their device to life has involved collaboration with academia and military expertise. Professors and students from institutions like CSU San Marcos and Penn State Behrend have contributed to the device’s design and development. Additionally, Navy and Army veteran Brenton Davis has provided valuable insights and testing opportunities in Lake Erie, highlighting the importance of cross-sector partnerships in advancing clean energy solutions.

Future Potential

As Breakwave Energy prepares to test its prototype in Lake Erie, the potential for their device to transform the renewable energy landscape is becoming increasingly evident. By harnessing the power of ocean waves in a cost-effective and sustainable manner, Lyman and Hernandez are paving the way for a new era of clean energy production that prioritizes efficiency, innovation, and global impact.

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