Photo: Concept for Ocean Harvesting’s InfinityWEC (Courtesy of Ocean Harvesting Technologies)

Case study into oil and gas platform electrification with wave energy delivers ‘promising results’

A case study, conducted by Ocean Harvesting Technologies and Lundin Energy Norway, has shown that wave power could provide significantly more stable power production than offshore wind for the electrification of oil and gas platforms.

Concept for Ocean Harvesting’s InfinityWEC (Courtesy of Ocean Harvesting Technologies)
Concept for Ocean Harvesting’s InfinityWEC (Courtesy of Ocean Harvesting Technologies)

According to the case study, wave power is highly competitive with offshore wind power, both in terms of levelized cost of energy and providing a more stable power supply that requires only half as much power balancing.

Offshore oil and gas platforms require constant power supply and decarbonization of this power is a high priority.

To assess the sizing and power balancing requirements of the oil and gas platform, a one-year time series with sea state data was analyzed.

A design for a 100MW wave farm was developed for on- and off-grid installations. The output power profile was compared with the output power profile from an equivalent wind farm and wind data for the same place and time period.

The more consistent nature of waves was evident and wave power provided a significantly more stable power production, according to the Swedish wave energy developer Ocean Harvesting.

An off-grid wave farm installation required only half the amount of energy storage compared to the wind farm, both in terms of power and energy ratings as well as energy passing through the storage, Ocean Harvesting said.

The layout of generic 106MW wave farm with InfinityWECs arranged in 6MW clusters (Courtesy of Ocean Harvesting Technologies)
The layout of generic 106MW wave farm with InfinityWECs arranged in 6MW clusters (Courtesy of Ocean Harvesting Technologies)

The cost for balancing the produced power is therefore cut in half with wave power, by reducing both the cost of the energy storage system and the loss of produced electricity occurring when the energy storage is used.

Furthermore, hydrogen was identified as the most viable solution for long-term seasonal balancing in an off-grid installation, due to the large quantities of storage required.

It can also be noted that using depleted gas fields to provide hydrogen storage is considered an interesting opportunity for oil and gas companies to continue generating value from such assets, according to Ocean Harvesting.

Mikael Sidenmark, CEO of Ocean Harvesting, said: “In addition to the very promising findings of this case study, it has also made it possible for Ocean Harvesting to develop a comprehensive array and system design, a handling plan, and a life cycle cost assessment for a 100MW wave farm, all of which will be very valuable going forward towards sea trials and commercialization.”

To remind, Ocean Harvesting is developing a wave energy device called InfinityWEC. The company is preparing to test the concept at 1:3 scale offshore Sweden’s west coast.

The sea trials are expected to validate the performance in real sea environment, and the results will be used to further develop and improve the full-scale system with regards to energy yield, system efficiency, availability, and ultimately affordability.

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