Wave energy generator begins sea testing

WaveSub Marine Power Systems’ (MPS) will demonstrate its quarter-scale WaveSub prototype in a broad range of sea conditions
Industry Database

A wave energy generator designed to power approximately 5,000 homes has entered sea testing stage.

Marine Power Systems’ (MPS) will demonstrate its quarter-scale WaveSub prototype in a broad range of sea conditions in a bid to prove its ability to generate reliable, affordable wave power.

Dr Gareth Stockman, CEO of MPS, commented: “The WaveSub has the ability to overcome what MPS has identified as the four main challenges of generating energy at sea. This includes its unique energy capture capabilities, resilience in even the harshest of weather conditions and technical set-up for quick, low cost maintenance and transportability.

“These features will bring down the cost of wave power generation so that in time it can compete favourably with the generation costs of offshore wind.”

Power-take-off

Each 100m long, 5 MW device will have a similar power output to a very large offshore wind turbine.

Designed to operate around 10km from shore, the WaveSub functions with a power-take-off (PTO) system, the generated electricity transferred to shore with an under-sea cable as with offshore wind power. It can ‘hide’ from storms with its unique depth-adjustment ability, minimising stress placed on the device.

This also enables WaveSub to maintain optimum energy generation across a broad range of sea conditions.

Port testing ahead

Following its launch in Wales, UK, the WaveSub will now be deployed at marine energy test site FaBTest in Cornwall, England. If testing goes to plan, the technology will eventually be trialled at the Port of Milford Haven.

MPS is seeking investment to enable it to move into the final stages of development; the testing of a full-scale multi-MW WaveSub. With investment in place, MPS said it would be on track to begin installation of a grid connected wave farm by 2020.

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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