Presenting WES funded wave energy materials R&D projects

Wave Energy Scotland has released a detailed description of projects that have benefited from its latest funding call focused on innovative materials and processes for wave energy devices.

Ten projects were selected to share a total of £3 million to develop innovative materials and manufacturing processes for wave energy converters (WECs), and test their survivability in different sea conditions.

Project HydroComp, led by CorPower Ocean, will assess the viability of hybrid fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) prime movers for point absorber WEC. Benchmarking of target outcome metrics affordability, availability, survivability and performance will be provided, and the overall impact on levelized cost of energy (LCoE) reported. The funding allocated for HydroComp project stands at £248,600.

Other partners in the project include Balmoral Offshore Engineering, and Wave Venture.

ARMOR project, standing for Advanced Rotational Moulding for Ocean Renewables, will seek to optimize materials to maximize the LCoE through identifing most appropriate concepts followed up by detailed designs and load modelling. Following this initial work, manufacturing studies, cost modelling and risk evaluation will undertaken to ensure that the project meets its ambitions, according to WES.

Partners in the project which received £249,762 include Crompton Moulding, WaveVenture, and Carbon Trust, led by Haydale Composite Solutions.

WES has provided £250,000 for the Concrete as a Technology Enabler (CREATE) project led by Ove Arup & Partners. The project, being conducted in partnership with Cruz Atcheson Consulting Engineers, MPA: The Concrete Centre, MPA: British Precast, SeaPower, and Wello, will take a broader approach to identifying where structural concrete could have most impact in the LCoE reduction for wave energy sector.

Illustration/CorPower WEC (Photo: CorPower)

Reinforced Polymers for Wave Energy (RePOWER) project with Cruz Atcheson Consulting Engineers as the lead partner will aim to assess the use of hybrid structures with reinforced polymers as the prime mover of point absorber WECs. The research group involves major wave energy players Carnegie Clean Energy, and CorPower Ocean, with Arup Consulting Engineers, DNV-GL, and National Composites Centre, with the funding of £249,614.

England-based wave energy developer Polygen is leading the Advanced Rotational Moulding for Wave Energy Technologies (ARMWET) project, with the available funding of £209,000.

Partnering with Wave Venture, and Rototek, the project targets the application of new technologies which overcome existing challenges with the implementation of the rotational moulding of polymer structures for WECs. The aim of the project is to come up with the ways of reducing the CAPEX and the long term OPEX of the structure, thereby reducing the overall LCoE.

Advanced Concrete Engineering – WEC (ACE-WEC) project, boosted by WES with £245,231, will target step reductions in the added manufacturing costs of concrete as primary material for WEC structures.

It is led by Quoceant, with University of Dundee, Black and Veatch, Innosea, and David Kerr as partners.

Dublin-based Technology from Ideas is running the Polyshell project to study and assess the potential of using high performance thermoplastic elastomers as the outer shell of wave energy devices. The project received £244,500, and includes DuPont, Cruz Atcheson, Radius Systems as partners.

NetBuoy project, led by Tension Technology International, will focus on wave energy cost reduction through the investigation of impermeable coated fabrics to provide compliant and thus load shedding/peak load resistant buoyant modules and fiber rope ‘load nets’ to encapsulate the buoyant modules, applying distributed restraint loads and agglomerating the distributed load back to a single structural point to connect to the WEC PTO.

Partners in the project are Black and Veatch, Aberdeen-based Optimus, and Quoceant, with the funding of £245,300.

Illustration/Polygen’s Volta WEC (Photo: Polygen)


The project involving the feasibility study on Elastomeric-based WECs (ELASTO), led by the University of Edinburgh, with the University of Plymouth, and Griffon Hoverwork, will compare performance loads on two devices – one with elastomeric parts and another with rigid parts. The aim is to demonstrate that the use of elastomers increase survivability and reduce cost without compromising performance.

The project received £244,714 from WES.

Rotational Moulding of Polymers, Composites and Hybrid WEC Structures (RotoHybrid) project, with the funding of £250,000, will seek to develop rotational molding of polymers for the design of novel hybrid wave energy converters. Prime mover CAPEX reductions of 50%-60% are targeted in the project, with further OPEX reductions due to lower maintenance and improved corrosion resistance in the ocean.

RotoHybrid project is led by the University of Edinburgh, with Queen’s University Belfast, Pelagic Innovation, CETO UK, ÉireComposites, Kingspan Environmental, as partners.