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World-leading test centres offer ‘one stop shop’to next-generation wave energy developers

Published:  04 September, 2015

Scotland’s world-leading wave energy test centres have joined forces to support technology firms aiming to develop the next generation of wave energy converters.

The European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, and the FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility at Edinburgh University will work together to offer real world technical input and sophisticated tank testing capability to developers applying to Wave Energy Scotland’s latest funding call on novel wave energy converter concepts.

The call will offer up to 100% funding to develop new wave energy concepts that have not previously been developed and characterised. Focusing on the prime mover and structure, Wave Energy Scotland (WES) expects to fund up to eight projects with this £2.4m Stage 1 call.

Up to £300,000 of funding is available to each project selected, and test tank performance and validation testing – as witnessed and verified by a suitable third party assessor – is a key requirement for developers to evidence their device performance and other claims to WES.

The deadline for applications is 13th August 2015. The best performing devices from this first stage will progress through a competitive selection process to Stage 2 and from there to Stage 3, a scaled prototype deployed at an offshore test berth in Scottish waters.

Commenting on the call, Oliver Wragg, EMEC’s commercial director said: “As well as having some of the best wave energy resources in Europe, Scotland has the most advanced test facilities in the world.

“At EMEC we have more than a decade of experience in helping developers prove full and part-scale wave energy convertors in real sea conditions; whilst FloWave has been designed from the ground up to be the best facility in the world for testing wave and tidal energy devices at tank scale.

“EMEC provided a lot of dedicated technical input and support to developers in the previous Wave Energy Scotland call for power take-off systems specifically in the area of test result verification, and we’re keen to provide developers with the support they need to submit a successful bid in this round of applications.”

Stuart Brown, FloWave’s chief executive officer added: “FloWave is already developing tools to replicate the exact conditions experienced at EMEC within the test tank – a vital tool for demonstrating that device concepts are both ‘fit for purpose’ and should proceed to the next developmental stage of funding from Wave Energy Scotland.

“By ensuring that tank testing reflects real world conditions to the greatest extent possible, and in particular the actual EMEC sites where devices are likely to be deployed in the later stages of development, FloWave and EMEC can jointly offer a clear route ‘from the lab to the ocean’ for any new technology.”

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