Wavepiston draws wave demo project blueprint

Danish wave energy developer Wavepiston has outlined plans to run a demonstration project over the next two years to prepare its wave energy system for commercialization.

The demonstration project, planned to run from 2018 to 2020, is expected to see Wavepiston demonstrate power to grid capabilities of a full-scale system to prove energy potential and durability.

Also, the developer said it will seek to optimize the manufacturing and assembly methods, as well as to validate commercial potential of the Wavepiston system during the project in order to facilitate the formation of partnerships and first commercial projects.

Several demonstration sites in Europe are being investigated, according to Wavepiston.

Depending on site, the demonstration system will consist of 1-2 strings with 20-30 energy collectors, while the peak effect per string will range from 100 to 250kW, Wavepiston unveiled.

The Wavepiston system is made up of a simple string consisting of a steel wire rope and a flexible pipe.

On the string, energy collectors (ECs) are mounted. Each EC consist of two pumps and a plate. The purpose of the EC is to convert the surge motion of the waves to pressurized water.

Wavepiston energy collector version 3 (Photo: Wavepiston)

Wavepiston uses the wave motion to move plates back and forth. The motion of each plate pumps seawater into a pipe placed along the system.

The pipe transports the water to onshore turbine station which converts pressurized water to electricity.

Since the first sketches on paper 10 years ago, 22 man years and €2.5 million have been invested in developing the Wavepiston system, according to the company.

Wavepiston has in May 2017 redeployed its prototype system off the west coast of Denmark at DanWEC testing center.

Since that deployment, the system has weathered through significant wave height up to 6 meters, and cross current up to 1.4 m/s with no negative impact on the system, according to Wavepiston.

The company unveiled its plans in a Wavepiston status report, prepared in relation to the company’s equity issue for which it had scheduled an investor meeting for February 20, 2018.