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

CorPower embarks on final phase of dry-testing campaign for C4 wave device

CorPower Ocean’s first commercial-scale wave energy converter – C4 – is set to undergo intensive testing to prove its performance and survivability ahead of ocean deployment.

CorPower's test rig in Stockholm (Courtesy of CorPower Ocean)
CorPower’s test rig in Stockholm (Courtesy of CorPower Ocean)

The next-generation C4 wave energy converter will experience two weeks of continuous operation on the recently built ‘world’s largest wave energy test rig’ in Sweden.

Rigorous tests will involve exposure to all sea states including severe storm conditions in order to monitor its durability and unique ‘survival mode’, alongside high thermal stress, according to CorPower.

It will also allow further try-outs of CorPower’s novel WaveSpring technology which works in resonance with waves to enhance motion amplitude and energy generation.

Allowing time for minor upgrades, the wave energy converter is then set to be transported to northern Portugal to take a central role in CorPower’s flagship HiWave-5 demonstration project.

The most recent stage of trials follows two months of initial testing in 2021 which produced highly valuable data informing recent upgrades to debug, stabilize and fine-tune the machine, according to CorPower’s project lead Antoine Baudoin.

“We are excited to proceed to the final stage of our comprehensive dry-test campaign. We will put the C4 prototype through its paces with the fully integrated system under continuous operation, in real-life offshore conditions, for a sustained period of time.

“This will allow us to collect a large volume of data assessing performance and robustness across all sea states, as well as thermal stress on the system, when raised to a ‘steady state’ temperature.

“Similar to endurance athletes, effective heat control is crucial to the overall system performance. In particular, we will be monitoring how the air characteristic changes within the pretension cylinders as they elevate in temperature, in order to better manage high thermal stress and maximise performance,” Baudoin said.

The 45-tonne test rig, located at CorPower’s Stockholm headquarters, is capable of simulating ocean wave conditions anywhere in the world. Measuring 40 meters in length and 9 meters in width, the design, build and accreditation was supported by ABB.

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“The testing infrastructure we required simply didn’t exist beforehand, so we built and accredited the world’s largest wave energy test rig to complete the project,” added Baudoin. “The test rig has played an invaluable role delivering a broad range of isolated tests on individual modules and equipment through to these final high-level ‘Ironman Tests’ for the complete integrated system.”

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 wave energy converter prototype, which also underwent dry-rig testing prior to sea trials in Scotland, in partnership with utility firm Iberdrola.


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