Photo: The test rig uses a large hydraulic cylinder to simulate the motion from incoming waves (Courtesy of FPP)

Floating Power Plant outlines plans for world’s largest test facility for wave power

Denmark-based company Floating Power Plant (FPP) has received €1.5 million from Danish authorities to build what is said to be the biggest wave energy power take-off (PTO) test bench in the world.

The test rig uses a large hydraulic cylinder to simulate the motion from incoming waves (Courtesy of FPP)
The test rig uses a large hydraulic cylinder to simulate the motion from incoming waves (Courtesy of FPP)

The test facility is expected to be finished in March 2022, and aside from FPP, the initiative brings together Fritz Schur Energy, Seasystems, and Aalborg University.

The project will upscale and complete the detailed design of a full-scale wave energy PTO system of 250KW, planned for deployment on FPP’s combined wind and wave power hybrid, where four PTOs are expected to deliver 1MW.

Nis Ebsen, lead electrical engineer at FPP, said: “Together with our partners we have developed a wave energy system that we are very proud of. We have seen the system working with high efficiency, both in the lab and in a half scale prototype offshore. This project will help us get the technology into the real world – in the end of the day that is what matters”.

Anders Køhler, CEO of FPP, said: “We like to think of the PTO test rig as a very large IKEA test. By subjecting our technology, the very worst conditions on land before going offshore in full scale, we can remove a lot of the risk from our commercial projects. The Grant from EUDP is very important to us. The project will validate our wave technology and help us certify it. This is paramount for reducing the risk of the commercial projects FPP is entering”.

The EUDP (Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program) is a funding scheme under the Danish Energy Agency (Energistyrelsen), which supports private companies and universities to develop and demonstrate new and innovative energy technologies.

The scientists at Aalborg University have kept up with the challenges of wave power for more than 20 years, and associate professor Morten Kramer recognizes the potential of the project. “This project can crack open one of the hardest nuts to crack, that has kept wave energy technology from becoming a stable part of the energy supply”, said Kramer.

Torkjell Lisland, managing director at Seasystems, added: “Wave power has to date not been able to prove itself as a reliable power source and we believe that FPP has the potential to overcome the challenges. The EUDP funding is an important contribution for this realization. Seasystems look forward to participate in this project”.

Mads-Ole Astrupgaard, CEO of Fritz Schur Energy, said: “The fact that we are, where we are, is a recognition of the enormous potential in developing complex test facilities of this size as part of creating a reliable sustainable energy source. We are happy to offer both technical expertise and experience, and we’re excited for this project to unfold over the coming years”.