Photo: The refloated WaveRoller device (Courtesy of AW-Energy)

WaveRoller emerges from the depths of Atlantic

Finnish wave energy company AW-Energy has refloated its first commercially-ready WaveRoller wave energy device after two years of constant operation on the seabed offshore Portugal.

Photo showing the refloated WaveRoller device (Courtesy of AW-Energy)
The refloated WaveRoller device (Courtesy of AW-Energy)

The 350kW WaveRoller unit has been towed to the port for its first inspection, after spending two years submerged 820 metres offshore Peniche, a seaside municipality in Portugal.

According to AW-Energy, its team is now starting the inspection process of the unit which includes a structural integrity assessment of the device before carrying out a detailed examination of all its external and internal components.

“We are delighted to confirm that the unit and its external components are in excellent condition – just take a look at the photo as proof of this system’s durability and quality to withstand two years of operation submerged in waters that are known for their wave extremities especially during the winter season”, AW-Energy said on social media.

WaveRoller device consists of a single movable panel and a PTO system, submerged on a foundation.

The back-and-forth movement of water driven by wave surge puts the WaveRoller panel into motion. As the WaveRoller panel moves and absorbs the energy from ocean waves, hydraulic piston pumps attached to the panel pump hydraulic fluids inside a closed hydraulic circuit.

The high-pressure fluids are fed into a power storage and smoothing system, which connects to a hydraulic motor that drives an electricity generator to produce power.

Deployed in October 2019, the WaveRoller underwent extended sea trials which served for fine-tuning of the device’s control system to maximise its performance and yield, while also having its performance monitored using AW-Energy’s monitoring software.

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AW-Energy said it plans to release updates on the insights gained through the WaveRoller deployment to the wider market over the coming months as more information from its technical teams becomes available.