Sandia Interactive Wave Energy Education Display (SIWEED)

SIWEED display

The Sandia Interactive Wave Energy Education Display (SIWEED) gives users a unique hands-on experience with wave energy. This interactive display comprises a small wave tank (about the size of a fish tank), a wave maker, a small wave energy converter, and a small model town.

As participants change the waves amplitude and frequency operating a graphic user interface, they observe how the energy generated by the wave energy converter (WEC) changes. The level of power generated is illustrated by the miniature town, which lights up as the generated power changes. This experience gives users a rare, up close opportunity to interact with marine hydrokinetic energy, and its possible applications to the blue economy.

SIWEED will travel to conferences, universities, high schools and other venues so a wide audience of users can interact with the display.

Systems Details

Open-source system implemented with inexpensive hardware (with Arduinos)

¾ inch acrylic tank

1.5m x 0.3m x 0.5m

3D printed town and plunger

Screw drive train

Interactive graphic user interface

Light up beach town

Real time wave data display


To provide an accessible means for a wide ranging audience to learn about wave energy

“What is a wave energy converter (WEC)?”

“How do different waves travel?”

“How does the power generated change in different waves?”

“How do different WEC controller tunings change the power generated?”

Mini Wave Tank Display
Sandia interns review their summer project

Project Overview

Mini Wave Tank illustration
Early rendering of the mock city to be lit by the WEC

The user controls and changes wave dimensions and sees the power output by the WEC

Graphic user interface (GUI) to control:

  • Wave input
  • WEC control tuning

A small mock city lights up based on the amount of energy received by the WEC

Key Features

Interactive & hands on



Student led project

International Conference on Ocean Energy (ICOE) 2021: April 28-30

CHOW (Capitol Hill Ocean Week): June 2021

Mini Wave interns
Summer interns Francisco Colorbio, Delaney Heileman, and John Quinlan celebrate the end of a successful project

Ryan Coe

(505) 845-9064