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Work starts on Scottish wave energy prototype

Mocean Energy
Credit: Mocean Energy

Work has begun on a 30-tonne wave machine that will take to the seas in the third quarter of 2020. Fife-based AJS Production will begin fabrication of the 20-m-long Blue Star wave energy converter, designed by Edinburgh start-up Mocean Energy.

The half-scale device will be deployed in Orkney and will undergo a number of sea trials prior to generating first power later this year.

“The UK oil and gas sector is exploring ways to decarbonise their operations and this technology has a range of uses in powering subsea technology,” said Mocean Energy Managing Director Cameron McNatt. “Our Blue Star design has undergone rigorous numerical modelling and tank testing at the world-leading wave tank at Nantes and it is very exciting to see it taking shape in steel in advance of sea trials.

The Blue Star wave machine protoype. Image credit: Mocean Energy

“AJS Production has a great track record in offshore fabrication and it is terrific to see work progressing so well.”

Following completion, the machine will undergo quayside ballasting and wet testing at Burntisland prior to being transported by land to Aberdeen and then by ferry to Orkney.

Last month, Mocean Energy announced a pilot project with Chrysaor and subsea specialists EC-OG and Modus to study the potential to use the Blue Star prototype to power a subsea battery and a remote underwater vehicle at the Orkney site.

Commenting on the fabrication, Raymond Imrie, managing director of AJS Production Ltd, said, “This is a great project to be involved in and is yet another milestone in Scotland being at the forefront in leading the UK to become carbon neutral. The project is well underway and although we have been involved in similar contracts, we are still learning lessons when it comes to working on prototypes of this scale.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the device launched successfully and sea trials beginning.”

This article was originally published by Power Engineering International and was republished with permission.