UmbraGroup takes lead in €3.8M wave energy project

A consortium led by Italian company UmbraGroup has secured €3.8 million in EU research funding to develop an advanced power take-off  system for wave energy applications.

Backed by Horizon 2020 funding, and UmbraGroup’s expertise in advanced aerospace engineering, the IMAGINE project will seek to develop and demonstrate the Electro-Mechanical Generator (EMG) power take-off (PTO) concept for various wave energy device types.

The EMG is said to be able to convert slow speed, reciprocating linear motion into electricity based on the integration of a recirculating ballscrew and a permanent magnet generator.

Based on realistic requirements for wave energy devices, the project will design and fabricate a 250kW prototype for performance and lifetime bench testing to prove that the system can meet cost reduction and performance improvement targets, according to UmbraGroup.

“The solution dramatically improves average efficiency, reliability and affordability compared to state-of-the-art PTOs. The solution can be applied to a wide range of wave energy device types and which will enable wave energy to successfully commercialize,” the project site states.

To reach this challenging objective, UmbraGroup formed an international consortium with cross-functional skills in ocean energy and industrial engineering.

The consortium is made up of The University in Edinburgh, Bureau Veritas, Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitet (NTNU), Cruz Atcheson Consulting Engineers, and engineering company VGA.

The project has already received a concept approval certificate, and its qualification plan has also been endorsed by Bureau Veritas, the project consortium informed.

The granted funding for the project will support the activities running from early 2018 until late 2020.