Final test and assembly of Bombora’s mWave underway

Bombora Wave Power has begun the final test and assembly phase of its mWave device, said to be the world’s most powerful wave energy converter (WEC).

Bombora Wave Power
Source: Bombora Wave Power

Testing of the key sub-systems is currently underway as Bombora prepares to deliver the £20 million, 1.5MW Pembrokeshire Demonstration Project.

The cell modules are now being operated through their final round of design limit testing, before being fitted into the steel foundation structure in Pembroke Dock.

Bombora said that the pioneering project has rapidly gathered momentum in 2022 and the team will soon be ready to fully energise the 1.5MW mWave in the ocean waves.

The final assembly process will be completed on the quayside in Pembroke Dock in the coming months before loadout to the operational site at East Pickard Bay, where the technology will be validated in the open ocean, advancing it to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 7/8.

“The project has been progressing at pace, with our specialist mWave cell membranes currently undergoing final tests, with extreme inflation and deflation cycles,” said Bombora’s COO, Dave Rigg.

“This is the culmination of the full-system testing process involving detailed instrumentation, operation of the valve systems and powering of the PTO (Power Take Off) module. We have applied acute attention to detail, pushing our technology way beyond the expected operational limits to ensure high performance levels, robustness and durability.”

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The mWave solution involves a series of air-inflated concave cells covered with rubber membranes and mounted into a steel foundation structure.

As waves pass overhead, air is squeezed out of each cell module in sequence, passing through one-way valves and into a duct system fitted with an axial turbine before being recirculated to refill each of the cell modules once the wave has passed. The unidirectional axial flow turbine is directly connected to a variable-speed generator to produce electricity.

The 900 tonne device is 75 metres long, 15 metres wide and 6 metres high. mWave cell modules can be configured to suit fixed-bed nearshore foundation systems or floating offshore ocean environments.

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