There are hundreds of marine energy sources, and many technologies have successfully crossed the door of the laboratory and are undergoing large-scale testing.
Irish company OceanEnergy is testing what it claims is the world’s largest wave energy device in Scotland.
OceanEnergy has signed a four-year project to test and validate the OE35 floating wave energy device in Scotland.
While it is not certain how large the wave energy equipment will be tested in Scotland, the wave energy equipment previously tested at the U.S. Naval Proving Ground in Hawaii measured 38.1 by 18 meters, with a draft of 9.4 meters and a total weight of 826 tons.
The team is operating at a scale of 500 kW capacity, but the OE35 is actually capable of up to 1.25 MW capacity and works relatively simply,
The OE35 has three large airtight chambers, and as waves come in and out, the water level in the chambers rises and pushes out air, which flows out and sucks air back in.
OceanEnergy harvests energy from this bi-directional air pressure using a technique in Northern Ireland, largely similar to the Wells turbine of the 1970s.
Converts air pressure in either direction into the same direction of rotation using a series of symmetrically designed fan blades. So instead of requiring the turbine to switch directions every time the airflow reverses, the turbine rotates continuously as air is pumped in and out of the chamber.
OceanEnergy has signed collaboration agreements with 14 industry and academia partners in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany and Spain to test OE35 at scale.
The €19.6 million WEDUSEA project, co-funded by the EU Horizon Europe Program and Innovate UK, will take place in three phases over four years.
The team will now design and build an OE35 drilling rig based on conditions at the European Ocean Energy Proving Ground in Orkney, Scotland.
The company will then install and test the machine over a two-year period, with the third phase publishing results and focusing on commercializing the technology at scale. OceanEnergy plans to produce OE50 machines of 2.5 MW in the future.
Myles Heward, manager of the European Ocean Programme, said the innovative actions in the programme aim to improve the efficiency, reliability, scalability and sustainability of wave energy technology.
And reducing the levelized cost of electricity of the technology by more than 30% will help reduce the risks of investing in wave energy.