Oceantec wave energy device online in Spain

On Nov. 8, a team from UK-based University of Exeter and two companies based in Spain – Oceantec Energías Marinas and CDA Bilbao Co. – successfully completed the final part for commissioning the Oceantec Marmok-A-5 wave energy device at the Biscay Marine Energy Platform (BiMEP) in the Bay of Biscay, on the northern coast of Spain.

The Marmok-A-5 is a low-capacity device, 42 m in length and 5 m in diameter weighing about 80 tonnes. The generating system comprises two turbines located in the upper part of the device that have a rated capacity of 30 kW.

The device was commissioned after the team installed a mooring load measurement unit that will provide a data link to monitor extreme conditions at the site, according to a press release from the university.

The monitoring system data, which provides mooring tensions and device motion measurements, should help researchers gain a better understanding of operational and extreme conditions that could likely occur in similar conditions at other wave energy sites.

The second phase, a 12-month deployment, is scheduled for 2017 when the University of Exeter will use elastomeric mooring tethers it developed to replace the existing polyester tethers.

Wave energy technology development is supported by “Open Sea Operating Experience to Reduce Wave Energy Cost” (OPERA), a multi cross-European project. Through OPERA, the University of Exeter is addressing the design and cost challenges of mooring similar wave energy projects through the introduction of a novel mooring elastomeric tether, according to a press release from the university.

Lars Johanning, of the Renewable Energy department based at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall, England, and principle investigator for the project, said, “This collaborative European wave energy demonstration project will generate important data, that will enable the next phase towards commercialization of energy generation from the ocean.

“It joins novel ideas to address critical design criteria allowing the economic realization of energy generation from waves.”

OPERA, a European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, is attempting to develop technology that will enable a reduction in offshore operating costs, which it thinks could pave the way for a 50% long-term reduction in costs. Thus, the program could accelerate establishing international standards and reducing technological uncertainties and business risks with regard to wave energy commercialization.

BiMEP is an infrastructure testing site established to research and test the technical and economic viability of wave energy converters prior to their large-scale commercialization and is located 1.7 km off the coast of Armintza.

 

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Gregory B. Poindexter formerly was an associate editor for HydroWorld.com.

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