Seaview Sensing develop new software to analyse waves, winds and currents

The firm, which is based at Sheffield Technology Park, said it is in talks with marine renewable companies in Yorkshire and further afield about taking advantage of new contracts.

Its target in 2010 is to secure four new contracts for its software, which measures waves across a wide area and can help researchers who are trying to establish offshore renewable energy schemes. The data could be used to measure the strength of storms, which means precautions can be taken before they reach the mainland.

Its technology can also help port authorities, harbour managers and marine engineers. Professor Lucy Wyatt, the firm’s technical director, said: "Tidal and wind power are potentially big growth areas for us."

A spokeswoman added: "Wave energy is 15 years behind offshore wind farms so we see growth in wave farms and wave device developers. "In terms of wave and tidal power, the UK is one of the best countries to benefit but it will rely on political will and grid connection.

"There is potentially a whole new industry to come out of the sector in terms of manufacturing and installation but if there isn’t the political will or there are problems connecting the devices then the likes of Canada and Portugal will overtake us and we will probably miss the boat. But at the moment it all looks positive and there is a lot of potential."

The company’s customers include clients involved in renewable energy, coastal management, and oil and gas. The firm won a contract to supply its software to Plymouth University and PRIMaRE (Peninsula Research Institute for Marine Renewable Energy) for use in the new wave hub project in the South West of England.

It will be used to provide information on ocean waves. Wave Hub aims to create a giant test site for wave energy technology by building a grid-connected socket on the seabed, 10 miles off the coast, to which wave power devices can be connected and tested.

Seaview Sensing was founded in 2004 by Professor Wyatt, who has been involved in ocean information, research and consultancy work since 1981.

She said: "We are hoping to build the (wave hub) market and there are lots of projects in the UK to tap into. Compared to other technologies we can map waves and measure them over a wider area."

The UK has signed up to the EU Renewable Energy Directive, which includes a UK target of 15 per cent of energy from renewables by 2020.

There are many challenges to be overcome before wave and tidal power can make a significant contribution towards these targets and reach large-scale commercialisation, but Prof Wyatt said she is optimistic about Seaview Sensing’s future.

The company’s software works with radar to analyse waves, winds and currents. She said: "We are certainly talking to marine renewable companies in Yorkshire about possible ideas for moving things forward."

The spokeswoman added: "It’s important for us to have a relationship with lots of different people in the sector – the test site operators, tidal farm operators and utility companies so we are ready for when the sector takes off." She said that Yorkshire and Humber area is well-placed to take advantage of opportunities in renewable energy.

Hull University’s Marine Renewable Research group has completed research projects for some of the world’s leading renewable energy companies. It established its Total Environment Simulator which has been used by Pulse Tidal and Neptune Renewable Energy in trialling their devices.


The UK is committed to providing 15 per cent of its energy from renewables by 2020 after signing up to the European Union Renewable Energy Directive.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change believes that achieving this target could provide £100bn-worth of investment opportunities.

Last year, the Government launched its Renewable Energy Strategy and the Low Carbon Industries Strategy. This included an investment of up to £60m in UK marine energy infrastructure and technology.

In addition, it launched a Marine Renewables Proving Fund which will provide up to £22m of grant funding for testing and demonstration of pre-commercial wave and tidal stream devices