Water Wall Turbine Selects Switch 500 kW Power Converter

Vancouver-based Water Wall Turbine Inc. (WWT) has selected The Switch to provide a 500 kW full-power converter for its innovative self-floating power plant. This new commercially viable system extracts potential and kinetic energy from large, fast moving water currents for conversion into electric energy.

The Switch will supply its first 500 kW full-power converter in October 2014 for WWT’s prototype project, which will be used for the Dent Island Resort, near Vancouver Island off the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. System testing of the integrated equipment is planned for the first quarter of 2015.

The vessel will power the resort, replacing existing diesel generators as the primary energy source, and is integrated with battery energy storage. The diesel generators will provide system backup. Additional 1 MW plants are being planned for other remote resorts and communities in British Columbia.

The WWT vessel leverages patented technology in a tethered above-water design to provide superior advantages over other tidal flow power generation concepts. Power extraction is extremely efficient in deep or shallow water currents. Environmental impact is minimal. The vessel offers easy accessibility for maintenance and construction. The technology is scalable from 500 kW to 1 MW, 2 MW and up to 5 MW per unit. The vessels provide bi- or monodirectional operation for tidal and river currents.

“WWT was interested in The Switch converter because of our product knowledge and flexibility to work with them on the prototype,” says Risto Ahvo, General Manager of The Switch USA. “They also appreciated the compactness of our design.” 

The Switch is a leader in permanent magnet generator (PMG) and full-power converter (FPC) packages for wind turbine applications that are similar to this specific co-generation current application. With over 7 GW of installed capacity, The Switch has made its mark with efficient and reliable power generation, lowering the cost of energy. As an operational reference in tidal wave applications, The Switch delivered a PMG and FPC package in 2011 to the Wello Penguin wave power application in Orkney, Scotland.

“We selected The Switch based on their know-how and experience of delivering converters that fulfill the strictest grid codes and utility demands for interconnection and power conditioning,” says Marek Sredzki, CEO of WWT. “For us, it was also important to know that The Switch will be providing us with engineering application support.”

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Press release, September 16, 2014; Image: alesia-communication
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