The vision of a standardized offshore electricity generator for the wave industry has taken a major step forward with the announcement of £2 million new funding for a project run jointly by Aquamarine Power, Bosch Rexroth and Carnegie Wave Energy.
The WavePOD (Wave Power Offtake Device) aims to develop a standardized subsea unit which can be attached to a variety of different wave energy machines and convert the movement of the device into electricity. This is one of the major hurdles facing the industry.
A tenth-scale WavePOD prototype has already been built and is undergoing a rigorous test program at the world-leading Institute for Fluid Power Drives and Controls (IFAS) at RWTH Aachen University, Germany.
The project has secured £2 million new funding from Wave Energy Scotland, which will enable the team to complete testing of their scale prototype and deliver the design and specification for a full-scale prototype WavePOD.
Commenting on the new investment, Aquamarine Power Chief Executive Officer, Paddy O’Kane said:
“The WavePOD project addresses head-on one of the major challenges in the wave energy sector – how to convert the motion of a wave machine into electricity, both reliably and cost effectively.
“From the outset we have worked with Bosch Rexroth to ensure WavePOD will be applicable to a wide range of technologies. The very welcome involvement of Carnegie Wave Energy and the investment by Wave Energy Scotland means we can now take our plans on to the next stage.
“We have already generated extremely positive results from our tenth-scale prototype in Germany and we are now in an ideal position to build on this success.”
Fergus Ewing, Minster for Energy, the Scottish Government commented:
“Wave Energy Scotland is running the biggest technology program the wave sector has ever seen. Therefore I am delighted to see the first contracts being awarded to technology developers. Scottish businesses are involved in the overwhelming majority of the projects and this is testament to the number of innovative companies operating in Scotland.”
The WavePOD tenth-scale prototype comprises a drive train, cylinder frame and power take off and has been developed by Bosch Rexroth and Aquamarine Power with funding support from the Scottish Government’s Marine Renewables Commercialization Fund (MRCF), managed by the Carbon Trust.
In addition to the lead project partners, the WavePOD program has already attracted support from some of Europe’s leading wave energy developers, utilities and academic institutions.
Commenting on the project to date, Paddy O’Kane said:
“We have already learned a tremendous amount through the design, build and commissioning of the tenth-scale WavePOD prototype. We have been generating electrical power since October and the drive train is using real-life hydrodynamic data from Oyster 800 to ensure the power take off is experiencing exactly the same loads it would encounter at sea.”