Photo: Mocean Energy’s Blue X wave energy converter (Courtesy of Mocean Energy)

Mocean Energy unveils Blue X wave power prototype

Scottish wave power specialist Mocean Energy has unveiled its Blue X wave energy prototype which will hit the Orkney waters next month.

Photo of Mocean Energy’s Blue X wave energy converter (Courtesy of Mocean Energy)
Mocean Energy’s Blue X wave energy converter (Courtesy of Mocean Energy)

The 20-metre long, 38-tonne wave machine has been fully fabricated in Scotland and will be deployed at the European Marine Energy Centre’s (EMEC’s) Scapa Flow test site for sea trials initially.

After the initial trials, the Blue X prototype will be deployed at the centre’s large scale Billia Croo test site in summer 2021.

Next year, Mocean Energy plans to connect the device to a subsea battery which will be used to power a remotely operated autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV).

The manufacture and testing programme is supported by £3.3 million from Wave Energy Scotland (WES) through their Novel Wave Energy Converter programme.

Tim Hurst, managing director at WES, said: “This demonstration of credible wave technology comes at a time when there is a real prospect of a market support mechanism for marine energy, that taken together, will enable wave energy to make a significant contribution to the future Scottish and UK low carbon energy mix needed to meet our net zero obligations”.

The Blue X will now undergo ballasting and wet testing at Rosyth before being transported to Orkney, Mocean Energy informed.

Photo of Cameron McNatt, Mocean Energy’s managing director (Courtesy of Mocean Energy)
Cameron McNatt, Mocean Energy’s managing director (Courtesy of Mocean Energy)

Mocean Energy’s managing director Cameron McNatt said: “As we drive toward net-zero, we will need many forms of renewable energy and wave energy can make a significant contribution.

“Our test programme in Orkney will allow us to prove our concept at sea, particularly that its novel hull shapes will produce more power than traditional raft designs.

This enables the development of commercial scale technologies suited to the oil and gas and other industries”.

Last month, Mocean Energy announced a £1.6 million project with OGTC, oil major Chrysaor (now newly formed Harbour Energy) and subsea specialists EC-OG and Modus to demonstrate the potential of the Blue X prototype to power a subsea battery and a remote underwater vehicle – using onshore testing at EC-OG’s Aberdeen facility.

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“We have a number of months in the summer to put the Blue X through sea trails, and in parallel test the subsea equipment at EC-OG’s home base. Next year we intend to ship the battery and AUV to Orkney and pair them up with Blue X at sea”, added McNatt.

The Blue X wave machine has been fabricated in Scotland by Fife fabricator AJS Production and painted by Montrose-based Rybay Corrosion services.

Numerous hardware and services were supplied by companies who have developed capabilities though the WES programme, including Supply Design, based in Rosyth, and Blackfish Engineering Design.