Photo: Wavepiston test string being deployed at PLOCAN (Courtesy of Michael Henriksen/Wavepiston)

Wavepiston deploys device off Gran Canaria

Danish wave energy developer Wavepiston has installed the first string of its device at the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN) test site.

A photo of Wavepiston test string being deployed at PLOCAN (Courtesy of Michael Henrikse
Wavepiston test string being deployed at PLOCAN (Courtesy of Michael Henriksen/Wavepiston)

The first short Wavepiston test string with two energy collectors attached has been assembled in the Port of Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, before being installed at the PLOCAN site.

The system comprises a chain of wave energy collectors stretched between two anchored buoys. The plates of the collectors move when waves roll along the system, pumping pressurized sea water into a pipe leading to a turbine or a reverse osmosis system, in order to obtain energy or desalinated water.

Wavepiston is now ready for the first round of testing and to deliver the desired results, demonstrating that the device works in real-life conditions, according to the company’s CEO Michael Henriksen.

“The assembly process has in itself been a powerful demonstration of how assembly of a system is fairly easy and can be done with the help of local workforces, thus contributing to the creation of local jobs. The assembly of the first string is also a brilliant opportunity to demonstrate in real life, what we mean, when we call our system modular and lightweight.

A photo of Wavepiston test string installed off Gran Canaria (Courtesy of Michael Henriksen/Wavepiston)
Wavepiston test string installed off Gran Canaria (Courtesy of Michael Henriksen/Wavepiston)

“This is a strong testament to our claim, that the lightweight and robust design of Wavepiston systems will reduce the structural costs (including mooring) to 1/10 of what would normally be expected. Not to speak of our claim that we deliver non-intrusive installations”, Henrinksen said.

The access to the test site has been funded by the European Commission through the grant offered by the Blue-GIFT project, that aims to help Atlantic Area companies to test their next generation ocean energy technologies in real sea environments and thus demonstrate that ocean energy is economically feasible.

The deployment marks an important step towards full-scale Wavepiston demonstration at PLOCAN being planned by the Danish developer.

The full-scale demonstration system will consist of a single Wavepiston wave energy converter (the string) with 24 energy collectors ( spanning 200 meters in length, and 8 meters in width), and a turbine generator on the PLOCAN platform for conversion to electricity.

The purpose is to demonstrate a full-scale Wavepiston system with electricity conversion connected to a grid and prepare for the first commercial projects.

The system is expected to have a peak effect of 200 kW, being able to produce 547,000 kWh per year – which is equal to the electricity consumption of 140 standard households, according to Wavepiston.

To remind, Wavepiston has recently reached the initial target of raising a minimum of €2 million in its ongoing crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs platform.

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The proceedings from the campaign will be used to finance final phase its technology development, Wavepiston said earlier.