Illustration/TTI Renewables’ NetBuoy during tank trials (Courtesy of Wave Energy Scotland)

WES boosts 5 projects to design new class of wave energy converters

Wave Energy Scotland (WES) has awarded funding to five wave energy projects as part of its Direct Generation Concept Design Competition, which aims to develop new class of wave energy devices.

Illustration/TTI Renewables’ NetBuoy during tank trials (Courtesy of Wave Energy Scotland)

The selected projects will progress their design concepts for flexible wave energy converters (WECs) based on optimal exploitation of electrostatic power conversion technologies, primarily Dielectric Elastomer Generators (DEGs) and Dielectric Fluid Generators (DFGs).

These energy harvesting technologies have the characteristic of being able to directly transform movement (stretching, twisting, bending) of a material, into electrical energy. This offers opportunities for significant cost reduction of WEC technologies, according to WES.

After careful evaluation, the five successful projects progressing to the next phase – subject to contract – include those led by 4c Engineering, AWS Ocean Energy, University of Southampton and Nottingham University Rolls Royce Technology Centre (UTC), WaveX, and TTI Renewables.

The projects, each expected to last 12-14 weeks, will share a budget of €287,000 (£250,000) to develop their design concepts, with final pitches being delivered in early 2024.

Two projects may then be selected in the final phase to progress to a funded full technology development program.

Jonathan Hodges, innovation and strategy manager for WES, said: “Identifying the five best proposals from an impressive cohort of applications is an exciting kick-start to a new generation of wave energy converters.

“WES is investing in a strategy to support the development of direct generation wave technology, through a mix of innovation funding, collaborative R&D activity, cross-sector collaboration and sector coordination, and we are excited to see how the awarded teams help propel this ambition further.”

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