WaveRoller, the breakthrough wave energy device created by the wave energy developer AW-Energy, has received independent performance verification, taking the wave power industry one step closer to commercialization.
An extensive study and performance verification was conducted by the leading technical advisory to the renewable energy industry, DNV GL. The aim of the study was to impartially examine the performance of WaveRoller, verify the efficiency of the device at different stages of power conversion and, derive a power matrix for WaveRoller.
Raw data analysis and verification of data processing algorithms within the measurement instrumentation were also included in the review to ensure reliability of key input variables. The DNV GL study results were all very well in line with AW-Energy’s own calculations. The power captured by WaveRoller was consistent in both calculations, equally for low and high sea states.
DNV GL verified that the hydraulic stage of the Power Take-Off (PTO) showed excellent performance and electricity was generated even in very mild conditions of about 1m significant wave height.
The electricity output from a single WaveRoller 100kW-unit during a 24-hour period with significant wave height of 2.5m, typical at the Peniche project site in Portugal was 500 kWh. WaveRoller continued to operate as predicted even during more turbulent periods with 5m significant wave height. The continuous operation of WaveRoller in such harsh conditions was possible due to “intelligence” built into the PTO system, developed by AW-Energy.
“DNV GL and AW-Energy have been working closely to establish an appropriate framework for the design of the WaveRoller wave energy converter (WEC). This has involved a series of numerical and experimental modelling exercises, which have now been extended to the comparisons with full-scale results. The results are very encouraging, and demonstrate AW-Energy’s adherence to the industry best practices. This positions the WaveRoller WEC technology at the forefront of the wave energy industry,” says Joao Cruz, Head of Wave and Tidal Energy at DNV GL.
“To our understanding, AW-Energy is the first wave energy technology company to conduct such an extensive independent verification of its operational results. This proves that wave surge converters like WaveRoller are clearly becoming the industry standard for near-shore wave energy,” says John Liljelund, CEO of AW-Energy.
“We are delighted that the test campaign was long and uninterrupted. It is one of the longest campaigns recorded with a wave energy converter. The results strengthen our belief that wave power is going to be a remarkable renewable energy production form in the 2020s and that the WaveRoller technology will be an important player within the wave power industry,” says Heli Antila, CTO of Fortum.
Previous WaveRoller PTO bench tests and simulations also matched field performance, providing significant impetus for AW-Energy’s newest project: a full scale PTO- testing-facility, currently under construction in Jarvenpaa, Finland. The contract for the site was signed in December 2013. Full-scale next-generation WaveRoller PTO units will undergo rigorous operational tests at the facility. The results will provide a solid basis for performance estimates of the upgraded design.
The testing facilities are going to be unique globally and contain an electro-hydraulic system to generate “dry” waves, i.e. giant cylinders that imitate the movement of waves to apply pressure on the PTO.
Such facilities will make it possible, in a laboratory environment, to test and adjust the PTOs for conditions identical to those in the sea. Artificial waves are created with the hydraulic pumps which are programmed according to the length and force of waves measured in the target areas.
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