AW-Energy and Queen's University Belfast joined forces in 2017 on a half-a-year collaboration to develop the WaveRoller solution further. The project, which ended in January 2018, concentrated on recording the loads of different WaveRoller components, mainly the foundation and the panel.
The main purpose of the tests was to understand the extreme loads better and compare them to the ones used in the design, says AW-Energy Marine Engineer Matti Vuorinen.
The tests covered a wide range of design conditions of varying tides, sea states and wave directions. The test results showed that the design loads were accurately derived from the combination of numerical methodology and sea trial data.
The design loads were not exceeded yet weren't too conservative either. This confirms our design methods are working well, Vuorinen states.
Information on how the loading changes when some parts of the foundation are removed was also gathered during the tests.
This provides us with data used to reduce both size and cost of the foundation in the future.
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 Framework Programme (H2020), which is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme to date, under grant agreement no 731084.
More collaborations under works in MaRINET2
AW-Energy has applied for additional MaRINET2 funding to continue the cooperation with Queen's University Belfast. As the QUB facilities have been purpose-built for developing wave energy in the nearshore environment they provide an optimal setting for advancing the WaveRoller technology further.
It is very satisfying that our expertise and tank facilities are being used by AW-Energy towards the development of commercial scale wave power generation. This fits the mission statement for our marine energy group at Queen's which is 'research excellence towards commercial development'. We are very pleased to be working with the company on such an exciting and pioneering project, comments Trevor Whittaker, Professor of Coastal Engineering at Queen's University Belfast.
MaRINET2 is a €10.5 million project which includes 39 organizations representing some of the top offshore renewable energy testing facilities in Europe and globally. The project depends on strong international ties across Europe and draws on the expertise and participation of 13 countries.
AW-Energy is a pioneer in the green economy and is the global leader in wave energy technology. Its flagship product, WaveRoller®, is a submerged wave energy converter based on a hinged panel that is attached to the sea bed in the near shore area. It generates electricity from the movement of the waves (surge phenomenon) and is connected to the electric grid onshore. The company is based in Finland, and operates in multiple continents cooperating with strong industrial partners including e.g. Lloyd's Register, Wärtsilä, Naval Group and DNV-GL. The company employs a highly professional and efficient team that manages a network of over 100 engineers and technical staff. It is backed by Fortum, a leading European utility company, Aura Capital, Sitra and the European Investment Bank.
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Source and top image: AW-Energy
Top image: Queen's University Belfast Wave Basin