Image credit: AWS Ocean Energy
Inverness-based AWS Ocean Energy has announced encouraging results from the current phase of sea trials of its wave energy device at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.
In a key highlight of the scientific testing programme to date at EMEC’s Scapa Flow test site, the Waveswing wave energy converter captured average power over 10kW and peaks of 80kW during a period of moderate wave conditions.
According to AWS, these figures exceeded the developer’s predictions by 20%.
Other key findings underline the survivability potential of the subsea Waveswing which continued to deliver power in poor weather conditions.
AWS demonstrates survivability potential in this video clip, shot during Force 10 gales, showing a steel nut suspended on a string inside the device.
The testing programme also demonstrated that deployment of the Waveswing from sitting on the quayside to being installed and fully operational is possible in under 12 hours.
The current phase of sea trials is scheduled to complete by the year end and AWS is looking to re-deploy for further testing early in 2023.
Simon Grey, CEO of AWS Ocean Energy said: “While we have always been confident about the performance potential of the Waveswing, it is wonderful to see that confidence endorsed by real data. We believe this performance compares very favourably with equivalent figures for any previous wave device tested on the same site.
“We are now actively seeking discussions with commercialisation partners, other end users and anyone who is genuinely interested in developing commercial wave power.”
How Waveswing works
When installed, the device is moored to a gravity-base anchor on the seabed using a single tension tether and sits around three metres below the surface.
The Waveswing generates energy by reacting to changes in pressure caused by passing waves.
The subsea location and ability to winch low in the water column allows extreme storm loadings to be avoided so that the device can continue to operate in rough sea conditions. The Waveswing is also designed to react to long ocean swell waves as well as short, wind-driven seas, for high energy capture.
Neil Kermode, managing director, EMEC said, “It has been great to see the Waveswing deploy, survive and operate at our test site this year. We are looking forward to analysing the data from these trials in the coming weeks as we complete a performance assessment and help the AWS team show exactly what they have achieved with this imaginative project.”
Grey added that the team plans to focus on developing Waveswing with multi-absorber platforms to support utility-scale power. “We expect to develop platforms hosting up to twenty 500kW units with a potential capacity of 10MW per platform,” said Grey.