Wave Energy Scotland (WES) is awarding contracts with a total value of £1.4 million to three innovation projects designed to support further investigation of promising structural materials and manufacturing concepts to be used in the construction of wave energy devices. ARUP will evaluate new ways of using concrete, CorPower Ocean will lead a team to assess the viability of polyester/E-Glass and the final project, led by Tension Technology International, is researching new materials for flexible structures. Each of these projects will take place over the next 9 months. For more information see the IDTechEx report on wave, tidal and hydro power.
Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, Paul Wheelhouse said: "With sustained Scottish Government support, WES continues to lead the development of new wave energy technologies with the funding of these three projects. The results from this research will help the wave energy sector grow and contribute to establishing a marine energy industry in Scotland. Scotland's wave energy resource can make a valuable contribution to our renewable energy portfolio. Together with our supportive policy environment, skilled supply chain and expertise in energy innovation, Scotland is the ideal location for wave energy development and well placed to benefit from the enormous global market for marine energy."
Tim Hurst, WES's Managing Director, said: "These three projects represent the best of the ideas for materials and manufacturing processes that can be applied to wave energy converters. The projects will make a significant contribution to knowledge of materials best suited to manufacturing wave energy converters and will take the sector closer to developing a winning solution for wave energy."
Structural Materials and Manufacturing Processes Stage 2 Projects:
Lead company: Ove Arup
Title: WES CREATE (Concrete as a Technology Enabler) - Stage 2
Description: The project aims to confirm that precast reinforced concrete technology can make a step-change in the levelized cost of energy of wave energy converters. The Stage 2 project will demonstrate that the example concrete design developed during Stage 1 can withstand the loading experienced by a WEC in representative operational conditions. The areas of focus are applicable to a broad range of WEC types to enable integration of the material into the sector more widely. This will be accompanied by a refined LCoE analysis and contractor engagement to confirm the cost benefit and access to a mature supply chain. The WES CREATE project has the potential to deliver significant impact on a range of metrics by taking advantage of the core benefits of traditional concrete in a novel application. The maturity of the material and supply chain will enable the Stage 2 project to progress the use of the material to a very high technology readiness level and enable the confident use of concrete for a range of WEC devices.
Lead Company: CorPower Ocean AB
Description: The HydroComp project will demonstrate the viability of the polyester/E-Glass material and the panels' topography through material testing and techno-economic performance assessment and assess the affordability, availability, survivability, performance and impact on overall project levelized cost of energy in the specific case of the prime mover of point absorber wave energy converters. Specific efforts will be made to calculate structural loads together with structural and stress analysis, working toward the optimization of a full-scale detailed design of the studied structure.
Lead Company: Tension Technology International Limited
Title: Netbuoy II
Description: The Netbuoy II project focusses on two key areas on the path towards cost competitive wave energy: impermeable coated fabrics to provide compliant and thus load shedding, peak load resistant, buoyant modules; and, fibre rope 'load nets' to encapsulate the buoyant modules, applying distributed restraint loads and agglomerating the distributed load back to a single (possibly several) structural point(s) connecting the prime mover to other subsystems of the wave energy converter, such as the power take-off. This combination reduces significantly the overall structural mass when compared to an equivalent steel structure through two mechanisms: lower material densities, typically around one-seventh of that of steel; and, improved material compliance.
Source and top image: Wave Energy Scotland