HUG Artificial Reef Electricity

HUG Artificial Reef Electricity

Artificial Reefs


The HUG Artificial Reef is a game changer. It promises to bring electricity created from ocean waves to the islands of the world at a very low cost.

HUG Artificial Reef ElectricityArtificial reefs, at 4, have long been on the forefront of surfers’ minds.  They can create very high slab waves, at 1.


HUG Artificial Reef Electricity

This is how a wave builds after it hits a focus point. The parallel wave fronts arriving at the coast need to be deflected on an angle over a head or focus, called a pointbreak.

HUG Artificial Reef

The wave is pushed up further than it normally would by 200%- 250%. This rising causes the wave to peel at only one place but as it proceeds towards shallower water over the wall of a reservoir along the wedge or the wall of the reservoir. The wave peels further and further, while keeping its height.  What surfing and how safe!

HUG Artificial Reef

Another idea is to throw a big plastic bubble onto the sea floor, where waves normally close out, and as swell passes over the giant bubble, waves will form.  

Why not just fill it with water? No, because the energy would just travel through the water inside the bubble and out the other side. Filling the structures with air makes a solid swell break, forcing the energy in the wave to bend around it. Yet, one problem is that waves do not like to break and barrel over a perfect circular surface.


Yet, how exactly do you tether a gigantic bubble to the sea floor? Bubbles float. The bigger the bubble, the more buoyant, and the more buoyant, the harder it is to keep down, especially when the anchor is sitting in something that shifts so easily, like sand on the sea floor.  There is an underestimation on the part of the engineers of the need for a proper foundation. If this system is used, we need a type of sand anchor: a helical pier system. We also need a focus:

HUG Artificial Reef for Electricity

To date there have been fewer than ten attempts to build such a reef worldwide:

  • Cables, Western Australia, Australia this riderless monster cost Perth taxpayers $820 000: 3,500 m3.
  • Pratte’s Reef, El Segundo, California: a 24-year, $850,000 artificial surfing reef 200 sandbag experiment came to a close in 2008: 1400 m3
  • Bagarra, Queensland, Australia: consisted of shifting boulders to move the offending rocks 
  • Mount Reef , Mount Maunganui ,Bay of Plenty  NZ: sand-filled geotextile containers: 5,000 m3 
  • Bornemouth, UK £3 million built from large sand-filled geotextile containers – closed 2014:13,000 m3
  • HUG Artificial Reef

Some artificial reefs are designed to protect against erosion:


  • Narrowneck, Queensland, Australia [erosion protection: to stabilize the foreshore: 70,000 m³
  • Kovalam, India to mitigate coastal erosion from monsoon waves

Many artificial reefs are comprised of sand bags.  Sand has an excellent ability to stay put.    Made locally of a geotextile material and weighing between 150 and 300 tonnes, about 400 such bags were filled with sand pumped to the site and dropped from a dredge according to precise global positioning co-ordinates.

There has really been no great success as it pertains to surfing. Over time, the artificial reef with textile bags will fail 100% of the time. Sure it might work for a few months or years, but that’s it!


The project usually starts with an erosion problem. The artificial reef could be considered multi functional because it create a safe surfing environment. So surfers get a freebie. The municipality that is footing the bill can only afford to pay $5 million tops. There’s the problem:  every artificial reef has been under-financed because there was simply no return on investment.

Now enter a new use which is more profitable: the creation of electricity. Now it makes sense to spend over $25 million on the project because of a very lucrative return on investments: 19%/year in first year to 105%/year thereafter.



We have been waiting for a wave energy solution for the last 40 years.  There have been a dozen approaches with a lot of activity in the last ten years, but there have been no resounding commercial successes.  Most ideas are replicated from other ideas in the box.

This HUG Wave Energy System  is “out of the box” and it will cause an Energy Revolution.

HUG Artificial Reef


The slab wave send seawater very high over top the reef crest at C above. The body of water at B behind the reef is raised 6 m by slab waves and drains to the sea level after activating a turbine, which energizes an electric generator.

HUG Artificial Reef

There are a number of reasons why one should build a HUG Wave Energy System on a reef:

  1. The amount of rubble required for both the road and the walls of the reservoir is 25% less on terra firma than in the water of a lagoon or shallow shore location.
  2. There is less need to provide a buttress against harsh waves because we use the natural wall of the reef.
  3. There is greater access to high deep ocean waves than average waves created near the shallow shore.
HUG Artificial Reef

HUG Artificial ReefIt is possible to use an on board crane and barge to transfer rubble to the reef site or alternatively, to build a road in the shallow lagoon separating the reef from the shore.
The formula for Kinetic Energy is

KE= ½ x A x V 3 x (.35) efficiency (A = area swept; Velocity)

Diameter of the Helical Turbine in the HUG is 1 m. The radius is 0.5 m: A = π r2 = π (0.5)2 = .785 m2      


KE = ½ x .785 m2 x (5.42 m/sec)3 x .35 = 21.9 kW/turbine x 7 HUG units/system= .153 MW x 10 HUG Systems =1.53 MW.  The lower summer waves are accommodated with a lower automatic door openings. The height of the slab wave is smaller during the summer: hence a lower velocity for a 1.5 m drop: 5.42 m/sec.


KE = ½ x .785 m2 x (9.9 m/sec)3 x .35 = 132.6 kW/turbine x 7 HUG units/system= .927 MW x 10 HUG Systems  = 9.27 MW  for a 5 m drop. The overall annual average is 6.25 MW.

HUG Artificial Reef

  • The overtopping technique which creates a high slab wave created by an artificial reef allows for more flexibility: the HUG can be located in more places facing the prevailing winds that may only have moderate wave action.  Other overtopping wave energy systems have to be built where there are high waves, which may be too far away from the population. The HUG system creates slab waves from average wave action.
  • The HUG has very low cost of construction: an artificial reef, a reservoir and the light-weight HUG System
  • The artificial reef used by the HUG, if properly built can withstand strong ocean waves, storms or typhoons. The HUG themselves are protected by the artificial reef and the wall of the reservoir.
  • On average, a competitive wave power plant can cost around $6-10 million to create one Megawatt of electricity. The average HUG Power Plant produces 1.5  MW to 9.3 MW for a $25 million investment earning an average of $3 million/year for a Return on Investment of 12% in the first year. The operating cost is very low during its entire life-time of 30 years: $0.018/kWh. An annual offsetting green energy grant of $0.01/kWh will reduce this operating cost. The selling price exceeds $0.08/kWh. The comparative price in Hawaii exceeds $0.30/kWh. (The pay-back period is estimated to be one year in Hawaii.)

                        Say goodbye to diesel oil.

Budget Allowance: $25,000,000

  • HUG System: 24%                                                                     $5,900,000
  • Dredging, Stonework & Concrete 31%                           7,700,000
  • Engineering Planning and Design: 12%                           3,115,000
  • Contingency, Insurance, Legal costs: 8%                        2,040,000
  • Artificial Reef 6%                                                                           1,300,000
  • O & M First Year: 5%                                                                    1,050,000
  • Ten Year Refit 4%                                                                               835,000
  • Loan Interest 2.5%                                                                            625,000
  • Installation 2.5%                                                                                625,000
  • Facilities 2.5%                                                                                      625,000
  • Mooring 2%                                                                                           420,000
  • Construction Management 2%                                                420,000
  • Sub-sea pipeline 1%                                                                        200,000

Budget Allowance:                                                                       $24,855,000

                                                   Say: $25,000,000

INCOME: 49,275,000 kWh/year [x         $0.079 (Quebec)] $3,893,000:                 ROI Quebec = 19% in first year  (@90% utilization)                                     ROI Hawaii = 105% in first year  (@90% utilization) 

 ROI : $3,893,000 – (475,000/yr. Loan Interest) = $3,418,000/year

COMPARATIVE ELECTRICITY COST: 49,275,000 kWh/year [x $0.34(Hawaii)] $16,275,000:                 

The Following Year: O&M annual costs are 15%: $0.02/kWh:

less $0.01/kWh Carbon Tax Grant                                 

70 Turbines x 90 kW/turbine = 6.25 MW  average annually

 Typically 30-60 kW per meter along the coasts:  (30 kw/m x 200 m length of reef = 6 MW)

Total Costs of 6,250 kW or 49,275,000 kWh/year:                   $25,000,000 @ 90% utilization

6,250 kW  x 7884 hours/year@ 90% utilization = 49,275,000 kWh/year

This amount of electricity will support 5000 households@ 10,000 kWh/home

Colombia Wave Energy
Colombia Wave Energy: Punta Pina

Colombia Wave Energy

 Electricidad Peurto Barranquilla,Columbia

Let us introduce a Case Study of slab waves in Peurto Columbia, near Barranquilla. A pier can be extended to reach the location of the slab waves. The HUG Wave Energy System will produce 6 MW.

The advantages of HUG Wave Power are obvious:

  • Green: no emissions of harmful green house gases
  • Renewable: there will always be waves and wave energy does not require any fuel like most other sources of energy.
  • Enormous Energy Potential: the energy density is 30-100 KW per meter of wave length
  • Reliable: not like solar or wind energy with no noise pollution and no oil spills or coal deaths.
  • Area Efficiency: less than a half square mile of ocean produced 300 MW (the density of water is 800 times higher than air)
  • Flexibility: they can be located along the shore where most populations exist and where there are prevailing winds.
  • Ideal for Islands: that depend on expensive imported oil
  • Predictable and Consistent: in areas of prevailing winds
  • The HUG does not disrupt marine life. Any fish caught in the turbine will experience a twist but they will not be chopped up.
  • The HUG can be located in more places that only have moderate wave action.

Wave power doesn’t get much attention, but technologies for extracting energy from ocean motion could end up following the same growth curves that we have seen for wind and, more recently, solar power. A theme among wave power experts is that wave energy is where wind energy was three decades ago.

There are over a dozen different approaches to solving the wave energy problem:


Point Absorber
Point Absorber
Oscillating Wave Surge Converter
Oscillating Wave Surge Converter
Submerged Pressure Differential
Submerged Pressure Differential
Overtopping Device
Overtopping Device

The closest concept to the HUG Wave Energy System is the Wave Dragon overtopping device as shown above. The difference is that the above system is built like a large heavy ship so as not to be jostled by strong waves. Their system does not use the physics of the slab wave and the  principle of the vortex, which creates much higher velocity. Hence,  in order to maximize the velocity of the waves, they are forced to place their system in the location of high waves, which may not be a convenient location. 


HUG wave energy Lagos
HUG wave energy Lagos Nigeria

The HUG can be located in places with average ocean waves close to populations:

There have been a lot of wasted efforts in solving wave energy problems because of wrong pathways: too big, too mechanical.  There have been no real great commercial successes. This may be the real reason why big companies like GE have not entered into the fray.

  • Besides providing electricity, the HUG Wave Energy System can produce hydrogen, which is less expensive than imported oil to the islands and is more environmentally sustainable. The secret of hydrogen electrolysis is the low cost of electricity, which must be kept under $0.05/kWh. The high cost of transmission of hydrogen can be eliminated by building hydrogen filling stations for automobiles and trucks right at the site of HUG Wave Energy System: the frontage on shore ranges up to 280 m.HUG Artificial Reef Electriicity
  • Besides providing electricity, the HUG Wave Energy System can provide fresh water from an electrolysis system that is activated by high pressure water: a Reverse Osmosis Desalination process. Typical operating costs will range from $2/Kgal of fresh water, because of the low price of electricity: $0.01/kWh
  • Wherever there are surfers on any island or in any ocean going country, you can create electricity.  Around the coasts of Northern Ireland and the west coast of Scotland, are some of the richest reserves of renewable energy in Europe, with the strongest winds and the largest waves.  
  • The HUG Artificial Reef will provide safe surfing on great slab waves over 200′ long close to population centers in a tourist area without the danger of sharp rock formations and urchins.

HUG Slab Wave



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