WaveRoller provides a reliable and predictable source of renewable energy to the energy system that compliments more intermittent technologies such as wind and solar. WaveRoller taps the unused ocean energy resource that is readily available also for many locations where other renewable energy sources cannot be fully utilized due to limited available on-shore area or other considerations. For more information see the IDTechEx report on Wave, Tidal and Hydro Power 1W-10MW 2018-2038.
A manufacturing certification milestone from Lloyd's Register
Lloyd's Register surveyors inspected the WaveRoller manufacturing to ensure that the manufacturing processes were in accordance with the specified codes and standards; that the components were in accordance with the accepted drawings and that the manufacturing process and final product is to an acceptable quality and fit for purpose. The main codes and standards specified are demanding but successfully used for years in the offshore oil and gas industry, where integrity and reliability is of the utmost importance.
This manufacturing certificate issued in the ocean energy sector follows the technology certification and design certification. These rigorous certification milestones demonstrate AW-Energy's commitment to best practices to ensure the safety and reliability of the technology and thus ensuring dependable project returns.
Renewable Energy Financing is based upon the technology and the risk
A large portion of the operating costs of renewable energy projects is the project financing. The higher the risk the more expensive the financing costs. Much of the recent fall in the levelized cost of offshore wind has come from more efficient financing due the cost effective placement of risk to insurance underwriters. Thus to achieve cost effective project financing the technology and financial return needs to be insured. In order to obtain insurance the underwriter needs to be confident in the technology and this is achieved through third party certification. So in a nutshell certification is essential to achieve bankability.
Commenting on the technology, GCube, a credible, leading underwriter stated: "AW-Energy's focus on certification of their technology is an encouraging approach for Wave Energy. When assessing risk factors from an insurance perspective, in an innovative industry such as renewables, it is important to have as much verification as possible that the risk has passed the R&D stage sufficiently to say that the technology is no longer in the trial and error phase of a prototype. A rigorous process of engineering and third party certification can be a good method of providing that verification and therefore building confidence that it can be commercially viable to insure the product."
"At GCube, renewable energy insurance is all we do. Having underwritten the very first utility-scale wind farms, we have been a specialist in renewable energy risks for over 25 years. We now insure over 100GW of projects under construction or in operation in 40 countries around the world, spanning both established and emerging renewable energy technologies. This means that we have a unique long-term analytical perspective for risk mitigation and loss control. With the most extensive claims database in the sector, we know what goes wrong, when and where, and share this insight to the benefit of our clients and brokers."
The WaveRoller Technology
The WaveRoller is a device that converts ocean wave energy to electricity. The machine operates in near-shore areas (approximately 0.3-2 km from the shore) at depths of between 8 and 20 meters. Depending on tidal conditions it is mostly or fully submerged and fixed to the seabed. A single WaveRoller unit (one panel and PTO combination) is rated at between 350kW and 1000kW, with a capacity factor of 25-50% depending on wave conditions at the project site. The technology can be deployed as single units or in farms.
How it works
The back and forth movement of water driven by wave surge puts the WaveRoller panel into motion. To maximize the energy that the WaveRoller panel can absorb from the waves, the device is installed underwater at depths of approximately 8 - 20 meters, where the wave surge is most powerful. A single panel absorbs 1.5-2 MW of power from the wave surge. The panel spans essentially the entire depth of the water column from the seabed up to the water surface level.
As the WaveRoller panel moves and absorbs the energy from ocean waves, hydraulic piston pumps attached to the panel pump hydraulic fluids inside a closed hydraulic circuit. All the elements of the hydraulic circuit are enclosed inside a hermetic structure inside the device and are not exposed to the marine environment. Consequently, there is no risk of leakage into the ocean. The high-pressure fluids are fed into a power storage and smoothing system, which connects to a hydraulic motor that drives an electricity generator. The electrical output from this renewable wave energy power plant is then connected to the electric grid via a subsea cable.
The Surge Phenomenon
The surge phenomenon is a universal event that occurs when waves approach the shoreline. Waves in deep water are essentially water particles moving in a circular motion. As waves approach the shore, they start "shoaling" as some of the water particles moving in a circular motion meet the seabed. This interaction with the seabed elongates the circular motion into a horizontal elliptic shape. This in turn amplifies the horizontal movement of the water particles in the near-shore area, creating a strong surge zone, which is the optimal location for the WaveRoller.
The new SURGE 2 Project in Peniche, Portugal
The SURGE2 project follows the successful SURGE project, where AW-Energy demonstrated the technology with a grid connected device producing electricity to the Portuguese grid from a site fully exposed to the ocean storms.
This project, SURGE2, is also designated the FOAK (First of a Kind) project and has been designed to meet ESB's WestWave requirements. Manufacturing of the main components for this new industry (begun in 2016) have been sourced globally - Canada, Finland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and UK; the main subsystems are the foundation, power take off, panel and panel bearings. The project was financed by AW-Energy and a loan from Finland's TEKES (now Business Finland). Completion of the site is underway before the deployment takes place.
About the WaveRoller and AW-Energy Oy
Manufacturing of the main components of the WaveRoller have been sourced in Canada, Finland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and UK.The WaveRoller technology provides three unique proven benefits:
-It is installed and operating in the nearshore area with easy access to the site, protected from extreme conditions with a minimized balance of plant infrastructure cost.
- It captures power with a bottom fixed panel (oscillating wave surge converter) - highly efficient power capture, can operate in low-, mid- and high-sea states with no cut-off and with only one moving part.
- It converts movement to electricity using an onboard power storage and hydraulic system - smooth and grid-compatible power output, ability to establish and support grid and low maintenance design with on shore substation.
Additional information is available at: www.aw-energy.com
Source and top image: AW-Energy Oy
Learn more at the next leading event on the topic: Business and Technology Insight Forum - Novi June 2019 on 10 - 12 Jun 2019 at Novi, Michigan, USA hosted by IDTechEx.