Photo: Concept for Ocean Harvesting's InfinityWEC (Courtesy of Ocean Harvesting Technologies)

Ocean Harvesting commissions InfinityWEC test rig

Swedish wave energy developer Ocean Harvesting Technologies has commissioned a Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) test rig to validate the InfinityWEC’s power take-off (PTO) with instant force control capabilities.

Concept for Ocean Harvesting's InfinityWEC (Courtesy of Ocean Harvesting Technologies)
Concept for Ocean Harvesting’s InfinityWEC (Courtesy of Ocean Harvesting Technologies)

The test rig, built at 1:10 scale, simulates the buoy motion with force feedback from the PTO system, and will be used to validate the complete functionality of the PTO and control system as in a complete WEC for real sea conditions.

This includes instant force control capability in combination with efficiency and constraint-aware predictive control, amplifying energy capture, and a soft two-stage end stop, holding the buoy submerged through the crest of large waves to ensure both survival and continued power production.

The test rig will later be used as a platform to develop and evaluate AI-based control strategies and design principles, to further refine InfinityWEC’s capability to capture maximum power from each wave, Ocean Harvesting said.

The project is co-financed by the Swedish Energy Agency and will be completed by February 2022.

The developed control system will be used in the sea trial of a complete InfinityWEC system at scale 1:3, to take place on the Swedish west coast, the company informed.

The sea trial project is planned to start in 2022, with key suppliers Sigma Energy & Marine, Acumo/NSK, and Beckhoff, among others.

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden is partnering in the project and will be responsible for validation of the integrity of the hull that includes sustainable high performance concrete and biofouling as outcomes in the research project WECHull, financed by the Swedish Energy Agency. 

“The sea trial in scale 1:3 will demonstrate that InfinityWEC is on track towards LCoE 100 EUR/MWh at 100MW installed capacity and < 35 EUR/MWh at 5GW installed capacity”, Ocean Harvesting said.

System performance will be tested in real sea conditions and results will be used to validate and calibrate the simulation tools to predict energy yield, ownership cost, affordability, availability and process efficiency.

The commercial-scale single device demonstration is planned to start in 2024, to be followed by array installations on commercial terms. According to the company, the roadmap to commercialization follows the staged development process recommended in the Ocean Energy Systems (OES) framework, a technology collaboration program by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Furthermore, Ocean Harvesting is performing a feasibility study on how a wave farm installation could provide electricity to one of Lundin Energy Norway’s oil and gas platforms.

The study includes sizing and specification of the wave farm, energy storage, handling procedures and a life cycle cost assessment.