Photo: The test tank of the FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility (Courtesy of FloWave)

WES books test facility in search of ‘ideal’ wave and wind hybrid platform

Wave Energy Scotland (WES) has selected FloWave research facility of the University of Edinburgh to conduct tank testing campaigns of potential hybrid platforms which combine wind and wave energy technologies.

The test tank of the FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility (Courtesy of FloWave)
The test tank of the FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility (Courtesy of FloWave)

The contract, worth €290,000 (£250,000), has been awarded to Edinburgh Innovations, the commercial subsidiary of the University of Edinburgh, and will be led by the university’s FloWave research facility for ocean energy.

The aim is to better understand the physical interaction and performance of wave energy devices when mounted on a floating offshore wind type platform, as peer reviewed data on the performance and feasibility of these hybrid structures is limited, according to WES.

Therefore, WES selected FloWave as the suitable facility for tank test campaigns on scaled hybrid models and investigation of different configurations to determine which are most likely to give the best power output for the smallest wave devices or the lowest quantity.

From here, according to WES, it is possible to optimize the configuration and identify the ‘ideal’ hybrid platform featuring wind and wave energy technologies.

“FloWave’s circular tank allows the direction of the wave approaching the test platform to be easily changed in the tank settings, rather than having to physically move and reorient the model in the tank.

“This has advantages regarding the quality and accuracy of waves generated. FloWave also have the capability to do the scale model design and coordinate building of the physical test model,” WES said in the contract award notice published on Scottish government’s public procurement portal.

WES added it selected FloWave, considering that the competition is absent for technical reasons, as the center’s test facilities and capabilities are ‘uniquely suitable’ for the project’s requirements.

As reported earlier, WES has started exploring the techno-economic benefits of various levels of sharing of supply chains, physical infrastructure and services between wave energy and floating offshore wind systems.

In September 2022, WES hired AqualisBraemar‘s offshore wind consultancy unit OWC to conduct a four-month landscaping study and assess the above mentioned mutual benefits of linking floating wind and wave energy systems.

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