Wave energy company, Mocean Energy, has selected technology developed by the University of Edinburgh to help develop its first half-scale wave energy prototype.
Mocean Energy secured £3.3 million in funding from Wave Energy Scotland (WES) in January to develop and build a scale prototype of the company’s Blue Horizon wave machine – which is set to be deployed in Orkney next year.
The Edinburgh-based energy firm has chosen the University’s C-GEN technology to provide the power take-off (PTO) system for its utility-scale demonstrator.
C-GEN is a highly efficient direct-drive generator that can operate in a range of wave conditions no matter how treacherous.
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Researchers at the University are also working alongside WES as part of a separate project to further develop and demonstrate the technology.
Commenting on the announcement, Professor Markus Mueller from the University of Edinburgh said: “The integration of the C-GEN generator into Mocean’s wave energy device is an exciting development, pushing forward the benefits of the modular direct-drive generator from marine test rig to marine environment operation.
“This programme will allow us to industrialise the design and manufacture of C-GEN for marine renewable applications and demonstrate C-GEN in a real environment, at a relevant scale and under realistic load profiles.”
Moving forward, the two teams will build a test rig, which is set to be tested at a facility in Rosyth. The University-made technology will be put through performance and acceptance testing using representative wave data, Mocean Energy confirmed.
Cameron McNatt, managing director at Mocean Energy, said: “To date, our focus has been on the hydrodynamic and mechanical performance of the Blue Horizon.
“Blue Horizon is a hinged raft with a unique geometry which flexes in two dimensions via a relatively slow-moving single hinge. C-GEN is a good match for us because it delivers high efficiencies in the right range of speeds.”
McNatt added: “Our test programme will ensure we optimise the performance of both technologies to extract the maximum mechanical energy from our operational machine.”