Scottish offshore energy company AWS Ocean Energy confirmed highly encouraging results from the current phase of sea trials of its Archimedes Waveswing, a prototype wave energy generator. The wave energy device has been undergoing ocean-based testing at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney for the last six months.
The results have exceeded all expectations. To date, at EMEC’s Scapa Flow test site, the Waveswing wave energy converter captured average power of over 10kW and peaks of 80kW during a period of moderate wave conditions. These figures exceeded the developers’ own predictions by 20%. Other key findings highlight the endurance potential of the Waveswing offshore converter, which continued to deliver power in poor weather conditions.
The test program also showed that it is possible to deploy the Waveswing from sitting on the quayside to being installed and fully operational in under 12 hours. The current phase of sea trials is scheduled to complete by the year-end, and AWS is looking to redeploy for further testing early in 2023.
The main difference between the development and analogs is that the 50-ton transducer is attached to the bottom and is less susceptible to storm with the power of 10 points. Therefore the installation is suitable for powering remote drilling rigs in oil fields and for oceanographic monitoring.
The Archimedes Waveswing wave energy converter is 7 meter high, with a diameter of 4 meters, and weighs 50 tons. The device is moored subsea and reacts to changes in pressure caused by passing waves. It can be raised and lowered in its tether for maintenance and deployment. There’s also a facility to regulate the air pressure inside the cylinder, effectively tuning the air spring to take maximal advantage of the wave conditions. The wave energy converter will be configurable for power ratings between 15 kW and 500 kW.
“The Waveswing features a single absorber design, with unique features which make it ideal for remote power applications such as powering subsea oilfield assets and oceanographic monitoring,” said Simon Grey, CEO of AWS Ocean Energy. “However, for utility-scale power, we are convinced the future lies in multi-absorber platforms which can achieve the scale necessary for wave power to make a significant contribution to renewable energy supplies. We expect to develop platforms hosting up to twenty 500 kW units with a potential capacity of 10 MW per platform.”