We’ve come a long way since the company was incorporated by Phil Kithil in 2006. Initially, the idea was to use pumps that would take advantage of wave action and bring colder deep water towards the surface in an attempt to reduce the temperature of warm surface waters with the ultimate goal of reducing the strength of hurricanes, as described in this U-Tube video “Reducing hurricane intensity using arrays of Atmocean Inc.’s wave-driven upwelling pumps”. Although pilots proved successful, technical feasibility proved a challenge. A measured side effect to these pilot deep water pumps was bringing deep nutrient rich water in the dark to the nutrient poor light exposed surface. The system was redesigned as an up-welling system to bring nutrient rich water up into the photosynthetic zone, thereby promoting algae growth and carbon sequestration. Although the pumps once again proved to work and function as designed and described in this U-Tube Video “CO2 Ocean Recycling Using Wave-Driven Ocean Pumps”, it has been difficult to market a product that provides benefits on a global scale with less localized monetary returns in the wake of the failed 2009 Copenhagen Climate Conference and inability of countries to realize a carbon trading program.
Waves into electricity and fresh water:
Realizing that countries, businesses, and people need to see tangible economic results under current economic circumstances, since 2010, Atmocean has since redesigned the ocean pumps to convert wave action into electricity and or fresh water, covered in “Episode 6” of the mini series 9.3 sponsored by Whole Foods. In addition, the pumps still provide residual artificial up-welling as an additional ecological benefit to the areas they are deployed in. Benefits of this technology revolve around this invention’s simplicity in design and function. This translates to lower costs, local employment, and survivability of the system. Since the system acts on waves and seawater to send pressurized seawater to shore, there is no risk towards the environment that is often present when extracting energy from oil, nuclear, or natural gas.
Our common future:
We need solutions as a global community that take into account our current global energy and water needs, while not putting our environment at risk. Renewable wave energy will diversify our investment while promoting the local ecology in which the Atmocean system operates. In addition to solar and wind, Atmocean works to bring the world a third form of renewable energy. With 70% of the world covered by water, Atmocean’s application of wave energy can be applied around the world, helping to solve one of our many challenges we face today.