Wave energy specialist Bombora Wave Power has been selected by Enzen to supply a grid connected wave farm to be located in the Atlantic Ocean on the north side of Lanzarote, the fourth largest of the Spanish Canary Islands, off the coast of northern Africa. For more information see the IDTechEx report on Wave, Tidal and Hydro Power 1W-10MW 2018-2038.
Enzen has identified that Lanzarote has a large and consistent wave energy resource along its northern coastline and Bombora's fully submerged mWave wave energy converters will be installed to deliver clean renewable energy, whilst preserving the island's rugged and pristine coastal environment.
Enzen, as a part of the strategic collaboration agreement with the governing body of Lanzarote, Cabildo de Lanzarote, are partnering with Bombora for this commercial development of Bombora's mWave product.
Harish Gopal, CEO Enzen Spain said, "Our commitment to the Cabildo de Lanzarote, is to lead their transition of energy generation to renewable sources, developing energy solutions with low or zero impact on the physical environment to ensure conservation of land on the island. We are delighted that as part of that programme we have selected Bombora as one of our key partners to supply a technology solution to enable us to generate energy with no visual pollution."
The first phase of the project will see up to 4 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity through the deployment of an array of 1.5MW mWaves. The power generated by the submerged wave farm will supplement the island's existing electricity supply which is currently produced largely by a diesel-fuelled power station.
The project will follow the installation of a 1.5MW mWave in the Marine Energy Testing Area off the coast of Pembrokeshire, Wales. Due for completion in the summer of 2020, this demonstration project will run concurrently with the consenting process for the Lanzarote wave farm.
Bombora's Managing Director Sam Leighton commented: "This grid connected wave farm project is a very exciting opportunity for both Bombora and the people of Lanzarote and will place Lanzarote at the global forefront of wave energy commercialisation. Enzen and Bombora are now engaging with the local supply chain in Lanzarote to deliver the project with Bombora providing specialist engineering support from our European headquarters in Wales."
- The mWave operates well below the water's surface, deep enough for most recreational vessels to freely travel over allowing it to be placed in more locations than conventional surface wave energy converters. This enables more converters to produce more power closer to where the energy is needed.
- The mWave's lightweight membrane is highly responsive to the full range of wave periods and wave heights enabling it to produce more power in a greater range of sea conditions. The mWave utilises pumped air to harness wave energy, maximising energy extraction in all types of waves.
- The mWave has no exposed moving parts, the rubber membrane extracts power simply without complex mechanisms greatly reducing maintenance requirements.
- Operating on the sea floor provides inherent protection during extreme storm events. The resilient mWave converter also has the unique ability to shut down in extreme storm events. Deflating the mWave of air allows the converter to be progressively detuned to safely extract power or completely shut down. Limiting the loads reduces capital costs and improves the all important cost of electricity.
How it Works
The mWave features a series of air-inflated rubber membranes mounted to a concrete structure on the sea floor, all arranged at an angle to the incoming waves. As waves pass over the mWave air inside the membranes is squeezed into a duct and through a turbine. The turbine spins a generator to produce electricity. The air is then recycled to reinflate the membranes ready for the next wave.
An inflatable rubber membrane covers a concave cell creating an air filled volume. As a wave passes overhead air is pumped out of the cell. The cell is refilled once the wave has passed. The flexible membrane is made from reinforced industrial grade rubber. Similar materials are already used in a range of marine applications with good performance and durability.
Air delivery from the membrane pump into the delivery duct is controlled by check valves to create one-way air flow. Air is delivered into a unidirectional flow turbine improving energy extraction and efficiency. A variable-speed generator converts this rotation directly into electricity. Electricity from the generator is transferred to the shore via a sub-sea cable. Following a process of power conditioning the electricity is delivered into the local grid.
Source: Bombora Wave Power
Top image: Pixabay
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