Wave Energy Scotland awards £2.84 million to four marine energy projects

Wave Energy Scotland (WES) is awarding a total of £2.84 million (US$3.7 million) to four wave energy technology developers that have been selected to stage No. 2 of WES’s Novel Wave Energy Converter (NWEC) program, according to a press release today from WES.

The NWEC program focuses on solutions to capture wave movement, which will help in the ultimate goal of commercializing marine energy production.

Stage No. 2 is expected to run until autumn 2018 and after its conclusion, WES said teams may apply for stage No. 3 funding to develop a scaled-prototype device for in-sea testing at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney.

This latest announcement from WES brings the total investment by the organization in wave energy technology development to £24.6 million (US$31.7 million) across 56 projects in just over two years.

Last month, HydroWorld.com reported WES awarded a total of £7.5 million (US$9.2 million) for PTO projects, which will be completed over the next two years and involve 15 organizations from across Scotland.

In January, WES announced it is providing £3 million (US$3.7 million) for WEC structural materials and manufacturing process projects to investigate the use of materials such as rubber, plastic, concrete or combinations of these to build WECs and then test how well the devices survive in varied sea conditions.

In alphabetical order, NWEC’s stage No. 2 companies, projects and award amounts include the following:

AWS Ocean Energy Ltd. ­– Improved Archimedes Waveswingâ„¢ received £721,265 (US$930,287)

  • Recent work by AWS Ocean Energy has improved the fundamental understanding of the device and as a result has identified new configurations for the concept which will provide a very significant improvement to the cost of energy whilst reducing technical risk. This project will investigate the effects of the technology advances and in particular confirm the potential for projected performance improvement and cost reduction, thus setting a solid foundation for a renewed development programme for the Waveswingâ„¢ technology.

Checkmate Seaenergy Ltd. – Anaconda Novel WEC Stage No. 2 received £727,135 (US$937,516)

  • Anaconda is a novel wave energy device comprising a rubber bulge tube and power take-off (PTO). Stage No. 2 will progress the lower novelty Mk1 baseline device successfully developed in stage No. 1 with an engineering work program focused on a lower risk Mk1 baseline configuration and concepts for a more advanced ‘MkX’ version.
  • The engineering program will focus on detailed structural design assessments, subsystem engineering and an assessment of hysteresis impacts of using rubber. It will also cover further design work on local structural details to assess their resilience in fatigue and ultimate loading conditions for sub-scale sea prototype deployment in stage No. 3 and in particular the technology readiness of the fundamental tube absorber technology.

4c Engineering – ACER2 received £659,515.80 (US$850,325)

  • The ACER2 Sea Power Platform is a low draft, low profile floating device that captures wave energy through relative motion of two hinged structures.
  • Building on the knowledge gained through the stage No. 1 ACER project, the stage No. 2 project will continue to develop the Sea Power Platform via the following activities:
    • Simulation and wave tank test programs to investigate and optimize the device geometry and PTO damping strategy for best power capture at a given site; 
    • Load testing in extreme waves to provide inputs to engineering of partial-scale and full-scale designs; 
    • Concept engineering of a full-scale WEC system, identifying solutions for all subsystems; 
    • Front-end engineering design of a large-scale test device, to be deployed and tested at a nursery site; and 
    • Development of operations and maintenance strategies for an array of full-scale devices.

Mocean Energy Ltd. – Mocean WEC received £729,948

In NWEC’s stage No. 2, Mocean Energy will further develop the Mocean WEC’s performance and engineering.

  • The Mocean WEC is a hinged raft with a rotational PTO. The design innovation is in the geometry of the two hulls:
    • Submerged nose and tail; 
    • Cross-coupling between modes of motion; 
    • Higher excitation force; Good survivability; and 
    • More power per size.

WES, a subsidiary of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and funded by the Scottish Government, will support all projects that successfully pass through competitive stage gate reviews during the program.

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

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