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Tapping into Wave Energy

Left to right: Philip Kithil, CEO, and Philip Fullam, Chief Engineer, and Nick Phelps, Design Engineer.

The oceans absorb 30% of atmospheric CO2 and cover 71% of Earth’s surface. For 2.6 billion years, photosynthesis has converted CO2 into phytoplankton, fish food. Ocean-Based Climate Solutions, a Santa Fe, NM startup, converts CO2 to phytoplankton using wave energy.

CEO Philip Kithil initially investigated ocean upwelling — technologies transporting deep, nutrient-rich ocean water from the twilight zone (200 to 1,000 meters deep) to the sunlit surface zone — to bring the cool deep water of the ocean to the surface with a goal to reduce the intensity of hurricanes. After multiple iterations, Ocean-Based decided to develop a technology that mimics nature’s upwelling to stimulate life in lifeless ocean regions.

Ocean nutrients needed to grow fish at the surface are trapped hundreds of meters deep. These nutrients upwell randomly, so fish growth is limited and often not enough to replace the fish caught. Fish populations plummet when too many are caught, and natural reproduction cannot restore ocean health.

Ocean-based Climate Solutions “Among 3 Standouts from Dassault’s Playground”

February 23, 2023 – Nashville, TN. SolidWorks creator Dassault Systèmes recently hosted the 2023 3DEXPERIENCE World & Forum in Nashville, Tennessee. Manufacturers, engineers, designers, entrepreneurs, students, and business leaders from all over the world were invited to the event in Music City for networking, innovation, and learning. The conference included sessions, practical workshops, educational courses, and product briefings in addition to the 3DEXPERIENCE Playground. For their contributions to manufacturing, sustainability, inclusivity, and innovation, three playground exhibitors stood out.

“Greening the ocean to combat climate change.”

22 November 2022, Kiel to Las Palmas. Can bringing nutrient-rich deep water to the surface artificially help the ocean store more CO2? This is what the research network Test-ArtUp tries to find out. As part of its research, the group has now put a pump that is powered by waves in the Atlantic Ocean, south of the Canary Islands. The pump used only the energy from the waves to bring nutrient-rich water from 200 meters down to the surface, where phytoplankton can use it. Phytoplankton are tiny algae that make up the base of the ocean’s food web. The test shows if it would be possible to use wave energy to bring deep water to the surface in order to help the oceans take in more carbon dioxide. Along with the deployment, there will be a large measurement program that will try to find out how artificial upwelling affects marine life.

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