Photo: AWS Ocean Energy’s Waveswing installed offshore Orkney (Courtesy of AWS Ocean Energy)

Waveswing wave energy trials ‘exceed expectations’

Scotland-based company AWS Ocean Energy has unveiled ‘highly encouraging’ results from the current phase of sea trials of its Waveswing wave energy device at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney. 

AWS Ocean Energy’s Waveswing installed offshore Orkney (Courtesy of AWS Ocean Energy)
AWS Ocean Energy’s Waveswing installed offshore Orkney (Courtesy of AWS Ocean Energy)

In a key highlight of the scientific testing program to date at EMEC’s Scapa Flow test site, the Waveswing wave energy converter captured average power over 10kW and peaks of 80kW, during a period of moderate wave conditions.

These figures exceeded the company’s own predictions by 20%, according to AWS Ocean Energy.

Other key findings underline the survivability potential of the subsea Waveswing which continued to deliver power in poor weather conditions.

The testing program also demonstrated that deployment of the Waveswing from sitting on the quayside to being installed and fully operational is possible in under 12 hours, the company informed.

The current phase of sea trials is scheduled to complete by the year end, and according to AWS Ocean Energy, it is looking to redeploy for further testing early in 2023.

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Simon Grey, CEO of AWS Ocean Energy, said: “These figures underline our strong belief that Waveswing is the real deal.

“While we have always been confident about the performance potential of the Waveswing, it is wonderful to see that confidence endorsed by real data.

“We believe this performance compares very favorably with equivalent figures for any previous wave device tested on the same site.

“We are now actively seeking discussions with commercialization partners, other end users and anyone who is genuinely interested in developing commercial wave power.”

According to Grey, such initiatives could include sponsored testing program, so that partners can get to know the Waveswing and its potential up close.

Looking to the future, Grey added the Waveswing could be ideal for remote power applications such as powering subsea oilfield assets and oceanographic monitoring due to its design features.

However, for utility scale power, the company believes future lies in multi-absorber platforms which can achieve the scale necessary for wave power to make a significant contribution to renewable energy supplies.

“We expect to develop platforms hosting up to twenty 500kW units with a potential capacity of 10MW per platform,” Grey said.

When installed, the 50 tons, seven-meter high, four-meter diameter device is moored to a gravity-base anchor on the seabed using a single tension tether and sits around three meters below the surface.

The Waveswing generates energy by reacting to changes in pressure caused by passing waves.

The £3.4 million prototype development project has been funded by Wave Energy Scotland (WES), as part of the Novel Wave Energy Converter development program. The demonstration at EMEC is also supported by the Interreg North-West Europe’s Ocean DEMO project.

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