A three-year tidal energy project funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 has concluded and been hailed a success by its consortium partners.
The WaveBoost project was led by Swedish firm CorPower Ocean and included Portugal’s EDP Innovação, WavEC Offshore Renewables, the University of Edinburgh, the European Marine Energy Centre and classification society DNV-GL.
The consortium designed and developed an advanced power take off system allowing wave energy converters to operate safer and more reliably in harsh ocean conditions while increasing annual electricity production by 27 per cent.
The system incorporates a pneumatic module that has 80 per cent less components, which the consortium says reduces complexity and CAPEX while improving reliability, compared to previous designs.
An energy redistribution system manages fluctuating power input from ocean waves to support grid integration and increase energy production.
On the performance side, new dynamic seals were design and tested which CorPower said resulted in a 70 per cent improvement in friction, while flow losses were reduced by up to 90 per cent compared to previous products.
CorPower said these improvements enabled the levelised cost of energy to drop by 18-29 per cent, with operational expenditure expected to decrease by up to 30 per cent.
Tzer-Yuan Lim at DNV-GL who carried out the certification of the advanced power take off system said working on the project “helped DNV GL UK extend our knowledge and experience in certifying wave energy equipment in accordance with EU Directives and specifically, the risks and potential failure modes when using composite materials. This has enabled us to provide greater insight on the design and fabrication of wave energy convertors using composite materials.”
Sofia Ganilha at EDP said “innovation is in EDP’s DNA to foster new technologies that help us to diversify and increase the efficiency of our portfolio. We believe that the decarbonization of the energy sector will require synergies among all renewable energy sources and the sea is one of the puzzle pieces with a lot of energy density to offer.”