Design set for ‘smart’ wave energy converter
Swedish company Ocean Harvesting Technologies, together with Finnish kinetic energy storage company Teraloop, has completed the design for the ‘smart’ InfinityWEC wave energy device.
Namely, the full-scale system design that integrates Teraloop’s outer-rotor flywheel technology into InfinityWEC‘s power take-off (PTO) system, has entered the next stage of its development which entails the build and test of the InfinityWEC PTO in a half-scale test rig.
The 500 kW InfinityWEC is said to be the first ‘smart’ wave energy converter to use flywheel energy storage to provide advanced PTO force control in combination with a constant/time shifted output power.
The principle of the technology originates from electrical vehicles where it is referred to as Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS). However, KERS applied in wave energy enables the PTO force to be optimized in every individual wave, providing numerous advantages, according to developers.
Mikael Sidenmark, CEO at Ocean Harvesting, said: “Teraloop’s technology integrates perfectly with the InfinityWEC PTO system and has unique capabilities to manage the requirements for efficient PTO force control and smoothing, as well as 100 million charge/discharge cycles in a 20-year design life.”
Ian Denton, Chief Engineer at Teraloop, added: “The InfinityWEC concept is a step change that will allow wave-energy-conversion to provide a significant share of the renewable energy mix. For Teraloop, this is a unique opportunity to provide a solution where existing technology is unable to address the challenging performance requirements.”