WES awards £7.5M for three wave energy projects

Illustration (Photo: Artemis Intelligent Power)

Wave Energy Scotland (WES) has selected three technologies to go forward to the third stage of its power take-off (PTO) development program.

The award recipients are Artemis Intelligent Power, University of Edinburgh, and Umbra Cuscinetti with each receiving approximately £2.5 million for the projects involving 15 organizations across Scotland.

The projects, to be completed over the next two years, will involve demonstration and testing of scale prototypes in a representative environment and cover a range of technology options such as digital hydraulics, electrical linear generation and a ball-screw generation.

Tim Hurst, Managing Director of WES, said: “After an extensive evaluation process, these technologies were assessed to be the best in the program and worthy of further development. This represents a significant milestone for WES as projects from our first call reach an advanced stage of maturity.ž

“This takes us one step further towards finding the best solution for the PTO component of a wave energy converter.”

WES-funded PTO projects moving to the third stage

PTO is the name given to the method used to convert wave motion into electrical energy, which can then be collected and used either in the grid, locally or stored for future use.

Artemis Intelligent Power has been granted £2,498,400 for the Quantor hybrid hydraulic PTO – Stage 3 project, being developed with Quoceant. The companies are developing the PTO based on a ‘quantised chamber-switching’ concept that uses Digital Displacement (DD) technology to complement quantised chamber-switching, smooth out the load steps and provide continuously variable control.

The project will advance to full demonstration on a purpose-built test-rig that will allow realistic representation of WEC dynamics. It includes development of the underlying DD technologies to enable implementation of the Quantor PTO at power levels up into the megawatt range.

Umbra Cuscinetti has secured £2,469,450 for Electro-Mechanical Reciprocating Generator (EMERGE) project, being developed with eight other partners, including The University of Edinburgh, Bureau Veritas, and Seapower.

EMERGE project involves the development of the Electro-Mechanical Generator, an innovative direct-drive system able to convert linear, reciprocating motion into electricity. It is based on the integration of a recirculating ballscrew and a permanent magnet generator.

The EMG will undergo testing in a bench with a Hardware-In-the-Loop (HWIL) configuration while submerged in synthetic salt water. Then, it will be integrated with a point-pivoted wave energy converter and undergo sea trials in the Orkney Islands. The aim is to develop engineering solutions for survivability in the marine environment and collect information on the EMG performance in real sea conditions.

University of Edinburgh is leading a C-GEN Direct Drive project, with Forth Ports, DNV GL, and Bernard Hunter Crane. WES awarded £2,499,556 for the third stage of the C-GEN project which involves the development of a novel direct drive linear generator for wave energy devices.

In this stage, a 150kW demonstrator will be built and tested in the sea, satisfying the requirement for operation under suitable environment and loads. The demonstrator will be modular, so that part or all of it can be integrated into a wave device in a WES Stage 4 project.

WES was established as part of Highlands and Islands Enterprise in 2014, by request of the Scottish government, to drive the Scottish wave energy sector forward.