Photo: CorPower's wave energy test rig in Stockholm (Courtesy of CorPower Ocean)

CorPower builds world’s largest wave energy test rig

Swedish wave energy company CorPower Ocean has constructed the world’s largest wave energy test rig following an intense two-year project.

Photo showing CorPower's wave energy test-rig in Stockholm (Courtesy of CorPower Ocean)
CorPower’s wave energy test rig in Stockholm (Courtesy of CorPower Ocean)

The 45-tonne moving mass system, installed at CorPower’s Stockholm base, is capable of simulating ocean wave conditions encountered anywhere in the world, according to the company.

The design, build and accreditation has been supported by key supplier ABB and accrediting body DNV.

Measuring 40 metres in length and nine metres in width, the system will play a fundamental role supporting CorPower’s flagship HiWave-5 demonstration project, which involves the deployment of its first full-scale wave energy converter (WEC) off the coast of Portugal, later this year.

Beforehand, CorPower’s commercial-scale WEC rated at 300kW, will spend around four months on the test rig, which can deliver 7.2MW peaks and generate 80.6kNm torque, with 5 m/s maximum speed, the company said.

Antoine Boudoin, CorPower’s project lead responsible for delivering the system, said: “The test rig catapults us to the next phase, enabling us to perform a broad range of isolated tests, involving individual modules and equipment, before eventually testing the device as a complete integrated system in the ocean.

“It’s one-of-a-kind and purpose built to test the overall performance and survivability of CorPower’s WECs at full-scale.

“Dry-rig testing is a highly effective process helping debug, improve, stabilize, fine-tune and optimise WEC systems before offshore operations, which are costly and weather dependent by comparison. As we now progress to full-scale, we will continue with our rigorous approach to prove the robustness and durability of CorPower’s technology”.

For the last decade CorPower has been steadily undergoing a rigorous five-stage product development and verification process, which initially started with small-scale tests in Portugal and France.

It later progressed to a half-scale WEC prototype, which also underwent dry-rig testing prior to sea trials in the Orkney Islands in Scotland, in partnership with utility firm Iberdrola. 

The full consortium of partners supporting the test rig project include ABB (drive train and control system), Katsa (gearbox), Wittenstein (gear rack), Särkinen industries (large mechanical parts), Vallourec (pneumatic cylinder), Blue Future (assembly), and Weforma (dampers).

Additional partners providing third-party approval include DNV, Rejlers, and KIWA.