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First steps towards self-contained offshore electricity generator

Published:  27 August, 2015

Bosch Rexroth and wave energy machine developers, Aquamarine Power and Carnegie Wave Energy, have taken a significant step towards the creation of a standardised, self-contained offshore electricity generator, with the announcement of new funding to support the project. ODEE reports.

A Scottish Government grant of £2million has been awarded by Wave Energy Scotland to the consortium to fund the development of full scale WavePOD (Wave Power Offtake Device) designs.

The industry wide collaboration tackles one of the biggest challenges in the emerging wave energy industry – the generation of reliable and cost effective electricity at sea.

WavePOD will provide a commercial solution to the problem most wave energy developers face in transforming reciprocating linear motion into electrical energy. It comprises an offshore hydraulic generator housed in a sealed nacelle that converts wave energy into electrical energy, which is then cabled back to shore.

Currently, a tenth scale WavePOD prototype is undergoing rigorous testing at the world leading Institute for Fluid Power Drives and Controls (IFAS) at RWTH Aachen University, Germany.

Louis Verdegem, ocean technology specialist at Bosch Rexroth, said: “The WavePOD project has the potential to transform how we harness the power of waves, and provide large quantities of indigenous, renewable energy whilst reducing our dependence on imported fossil fuels.

“We are beginning to see extremely positive results from our tenth scale prototype and, with the backing of the world’s leading wave energy developers and Wave Energy Scotland, we are very excited at what the future holds for WavePOD.”

Commenting on the new investment, Aquamarine Power chief executive officer Paddy O’Kane, said: “The WavePOD project addresses head-on one of the major challenges in the wave energy sector – how to convert the motion of a wave machine into electricity, both reliably and cost effectively.

“From the outset we have worked with Bosch Rexroth to ensure WavePOD will be applicable to a wide range of technologies. The welcome involvement of Carnegie Wave Energy and the investment by Wave Energy Scotland means we can now take our plans on to the next stage.

“We have already generated extremely positive results from our tenth scale prototype in Germany and we are now in an ideal position to build on this success.”

Fergus Ewing, Minster for Energy, the Scottish Government, commented:

“Wave Energy Scotland is running the biggest technology programme the wave sector has ever seen. Scottish businesses are involved in the overwhelming majority of the projects and this is testament to the number of innovative companies operating in Scotland.”

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