Initial testing and shakedown of Waveswing completed as AWS offshore scientific test programme progresses

Photo Colin Keldie © EMEC

Sea trials at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) have started, as part of the scientific testing programme for the AWS Waveswing wave energy converter.

The initial shakedown testing at EMEC’s Scapa Flow test site in Orkney involved ten significant lifting, marine or diving operations demonstrating the practical deployment, operation and recovery of the Waveswing device. The device has now been recovered to shore for detailed inspection prior to being re-deployed at the test site.

This important milestone follows successful quayside testing and preparation in Stromness since Waveswing’s arrival in Orkney in late January. Several short weather windows have enabled deployment of the anchor and anchor block, umbilical cable and EMEC’s test support buoy, as well as two trial deployments of the Waveswing.

A video showing deployment of Waveswing can be viewed here.

The shakedown testing addressed one of the key scientific uncertainties in relation to the behaviour of the Waveswing: how the device will respond to changing water depth and pressure. The tests demonstrated a 2x ratio between change in depth and movement of the floater, thus confirming the power-generation potential for the device.

Simon Grey, CEO of AWS Ocean Energy said: “Completion of this initial phase of testing is without doubt the most significant step forward yet in the development of Waveswing. The results confirm what we have hoped for in terms of performance potential. Furthermore, demonstrating the practical deployment, operation and recovery of the Waveswing is another major step”.

“Our current single absorber design is suitable for remote power applications such as powering subsea oilfield assets and oceanographic monitoring. However, we are convinced that the future lies in multi-absorber platforms which can achieve the scale necessary for wave power to make a significant contribution to renewable energy supplies. We expect to develop platforms hosting up to twenty 500 kW units with a potential capacity of 10 MW per platform. We are currently seeking development partners to join us on this exciting journey”.

The £3.4 million prototype development project has been funded by Wave Energy Scotland (WES), as part of the Novel Wave Energy Converter development programme. The demonstration at EMEC is also supported by the Interreg North-West Europe’s Ocean DEMO project.