CorPower Ocean has teamed up with composite machinery specialist Autonational and composite tank firm CPT Tankwell to develop its first commercial-scale hull in Viana do Castelo, Portugal.
The composite hull forms an integral part of CorPower Ocean’s C4 Wave Energy Converter (WEC), which was recently unveiled at a global launch in Sweden.
Over the last year, process characterisation work on quarter-scale models has enabled rapid iterations and continuous tuning.
In its entirety, the composite hull development work cell consists of a fully customised filament winding machine situated on a 14-meter-long base. This includes an automated carrying system to apply fibers onto a 9-meter diameter mandrel, to wind the hull layer-by-layer.
Completed at CorPower Ocean’s Portuguese base in Viana do Castelo, it marks an important milestone in the flagship HiWave-5 Project, which will involve ocean deployment in nearby Aguçadoura.
Miguel Silva, managing director for CorPower Ocean Portugal, said in a statement: “The C4 hull has been designed with a low-cost sandwich structure comprising of filament-wound composite skins for the inner and outer layer separated by a core material.
“This approach brings a raft of benefits including high strength, durability and impact resistance combined with light weight and buoyancy performance properties, which can withstand fatigue, slamming and impact loads. Other important features include excellent adhesion strength and chemical resistance with low water absorption.”
The hull construction has been carried out in conjunction with dry-testing of CorPower Ocean’s PTO (Power Take Off) system.
Tord Jonsson, supply chain & quality manager said: “Based on the R&D-cell in Viana do Castelo, future versions of such manufacturing cells can be easily integrated in port or final assembly facilities, amounting to ‘mobile factories’.
“This will enable composite hulls to be built rapidly on customer sites, with additive manufacturing dramatically reducing lead times, cost and carbon footprint by eliminating transportation of the finished product.
“Our ‘mobile factory’ concept enables high local content in projects, and will play a key role in revitalizing local port communities and local supply chains.”
Working in collaboration with several utility companies, CorPower Ocean’s first commercial-scale C4 WEC will be used to form part of a larger four-system array, one of the world’s first wave farms generating energy to the national grid.