CityU receives a grant from Hongkong Electric for wave energy research

Zoey Tsang

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A top research team from the Department of Electronic Engineering at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has been awarded a grant of $119,000 by the Hongkong Electric Clean Energy Fund to support the development of the Wave Energy Collector.

The award underscores the high level of community recognition for applied research at CityU, acknowledgement that the University contributes pro-actively to improving the quality of life in Hong Kong.

The CityU experts behind the Wave Energy Collector project are Dr Yeung Lam-fat, the leader of the team, and Dr Robin Bradbeer, both of whom are associate professors in the Department of Electronic Engineering, and Mr Paul Hodgson, a visiting academic in the same department.

Dr Yeung said he was very pleased that the project had received this level of support, adding that the project should be completed by the end of July 2007.

The Wave Energy Collector, which includes one energy collection unit, a power generation unit and storage, will be installed in the Hoi Ha Wan Marine Life Centre run by the WWF Hong Kong. The centre is positioned above sea-level and makes it an ideal place for collecting wave energy. The device works by the air compressor inside the collection unit generating energy as the water rises and falls.

Wave energy is a renewable energy, like solar and wind energy. The idea is that energy can be produced from these abundant natural resources and help reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and pollution. The benefit of this project is that collector provides invaluable information about the feasibility of applying wave energy in Hong Kong.

There is also an educational purpose. A working display of the device will be available on the website of WWF Hong Kong, allowing students and the public to understand how the device works and to learn more about non-solar energy. Dr Yeung is considering using part of the grant to hold activities for secondary students that raise awareness about wave energy.

The Hongkong Electric Clean Energy Fund was established to promote public awareness and usage of renewable energy. It has received 45 applications this year and the submissions were assessed by a panel of judges under six headings: innovation, technical feasibility, educational benefits, sustainability, and environmental and cost benefits. Twelve applications from primary schools, secondary schools and tertiary institutes were awarded $1 million in total.

CityU was among the three tertiary institutes that received money from the fund.

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