A New York-based mechanical engineer from Makato, Aklan is leading the race to build the world’s first commercial-scale device that could harvest ocean wave energy and then convert it into electricity. It’s like harvesting energy from the source of the world’s third most abundant renewable energy!
Ramuel Taytayon Maramara, the founder and CEO of Brimes Energy, Inc. was successful in creating a small-scale version of the device and is now developing a prototype that could provide a cheaper and more efficient means of generating electricity.
Riding the waves
Dubbed as The Jellyfish, the device was proven to be efficient in absorbing wave energy and then turning it into electricity.
“There is a lot of energy in the waves,” Maramara said, in an interview with the NVC The Forum. “For every meter of coastline, that can provide enough energy to light 2000 light bulbs”
To have a better grasp on the figures, imagine that you are walking on the beach along the shoreline. For every step you take, the waves within that step have the energy to provide electricity to five (5) to eight (8) homes.
“Now, the latest prototype that we build, we can absorb up to 55% of the waves’ energy, and our wave to electricity ratio is 19%,” he said. “I believe that is the highest in the world for a commercial design.”
The investors are now buzzing with excitement
Maramara’s firm is now in the commercialization phase where they are looking for partners to help them finance the production of a large commercial unit. This improved design can generate a large amount of electricity. The larger version also has to be economically viable so that people can afford it, just like how they can buy solar panels in stores nowadays.
His invention is now creating a buzz here and abroad, and several NGOs had already pledged their support to the project. Among those who are interested are First Gen Corporation, a renewable energy firm in the Philippines; and Ocean Pixel, a Singaporean firm. In addition, the United States’ Department of Energy, Philippines’ Energy Regulation Commission, Department of Science and Technology, and the University of the Philippines (UP) had offered help.
Honoring his roots
Engr. Maramara, who earned his Mechanical Engineering degree from UP Diliman and ranked number 3 in the Mechanical Engineering Board exam, said that it has been on top of his mind to design the machine for the Philippines.
Also, Maramara also said that the Philippines is a great place to test the Jellyfish because it is surrounded by countless waves that can be harnessed into power.
“Once the financing is done, I want the first unit to be installed in my country, the Philippines.” Other benefits of The Jellyfish are its ability to reduce wave heights, thus reducing erosion and its desalinating features which enable the device to turn saltwater into freshwater.