Photo: Wavepiston's wave energy technology in Gran Canaria (Courtesy of Wavepiston)

Danish company kicks off wet tests for ‘wave to energy and water’ technology

Danish company Wavepiston has started wet tests campaign for its technology in Canary Islands, with the ultimate aim of developing the most effective wave to energy and water production system.

Wavepiston's wave energy technology in Gran Canaria (Courtesy of Wavepiston)
Wavepiston’s wave energy technology in Gran Canaria (Courtesy of Wavepiston)

After few months of testing and tuning the monitoring instrumentation in dry conditions, Wavepiston started a wet test period on the installation in Gran Canaria at Taliarte harbor.

The tests aim to examine how the instrumentation will perform in the salt water, according to the company.

The instrumentation consists of the main pod at the top of each buoy (with the IoT solution and the core electronics) and two sets of instrumentation for measuring the two closest energy collectors. Each energy collector has a sail position sensor, a pressure sensor at the pump blocks and two cameras facing top and bottom, recording the movement of the machines.

Alberto Coello, technical coordinator of the Wavepiston’s operation in Gran Canaria, said: “Creating this system was challenging because there is no other solution like that on the market that could simply be bought and installed. We needed to invent it from the scratch. It was challenging, but also very exciting work for us.

“We are still doing a lot of tests, working on better tuning and marine growth control measurements. Thanks to our technical partners and support from the grant from ICEX Invest in Spain, we are constantly improving the technology to perform in a full swing.”

According to Wavepiston, the pressure sensors, position sensors and cameras installed on the unit provide full information about the efficiency of the energy collector, enabling the company to match the video recordings of the pumps with the data from the pressure sensor to analyze how a given energy collector performs in different sea conditions.

The power module of the ‘wave to energy and water’ installation (Courtesy of Wavepiston)
The power module of the ‘wave to energy and water’ installation (Courtesy of Wavepiston)

The monitoring instrumentation also helps Wavepiston to evaluate the impact of the system on the environment. In addition, the company said it is also able to assess the condition of the system’s materials in the real-life environment in the presence of marine growth or corrosion, which is expected to provide ‘crucial data’ to improve the design.

The tests will allow Wavepiston to create the most effective wave to energy and water production system and limit possible failures or shortcomings in the future to the bare minimum, the company expects.

Also, the power module of the ‘wave to energy and water’ installation in Spain has been connected to the grid in an on-and-off test to check the operation of the device at the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN).

“That’s another step to ascertain the readiness of our system. Of course, there are still elements that we want to improve in the operation, such as configuring the most effective internet connection and communication protocol between two grids. We will be working and improving those and other aspects in the coming months,” added Coello.

Connecting and testing the power module in the installation in Gran Canaria is a part of Wavepiston overall strategy to examine the best solutions of the wave to energy and water technology and to prove the readiness of the devices, the company said.

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