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ANCHORING & MOORINGS


REDUCING STRUCTURAL COSTS AND DEVELOPING DURABLE


One of the biggest obstacles to the commercial use of wave energy today is cost and complexity. From mooring, anchoring and structural costs through to grid connection and deployment, wave energy costs remain high compared to other renewables.


FLEXIBLE TECHNOLOGY


Danish company Wavepiston is developing an innovative, flexible wave power technology in partnership with Vryhof, a leader in offshore mooring and anchoring, the Technical University of Denmark (who have developed hydrodynamic model to test the new system) and hydraulic pump specialists, Fiellberg.


TECHNOLOGY AND DESIGN PRINCIPLES


The technology and design principles are based on a slim, light and cost-effective wave structure, consisting of a horizontal cable – anchored at each end – on which vertical energy collector (ECs) are mounted like a string of pearls. Due to the string’s length and the oscillating waves, these ECs will face forces in opposing directions, cancelling each other out and creating a stable structure where relatively small forces can anchor the cable. The moving ECs then pump seawater into the pipes with the pressurised water powering a turbine.


EXPERTISE WIDER INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS


Vryhof, which has considerable marine renewable energy sector expertise as well as in oil & gas, designed the offshore structure, providing mooring expertise and the installation of just two Stevpris Mk6 anchors.


The anchors have an extremely high weight/strength ratio with their enlarged surface delivering holding power up to 30% higher than other drag anchors.


Michael concluded: “We have a number of interested local islands and communities, currently dependent on diesel generators, and we then plan to deploy in wider industrial applications. Reliable, clean and cheap wave power is now much closer to being achieved.”


Vryhof www.wavetidalenergynetwork.co.uk PAGE 19


REDUCING MOORING AND STRUCTURAL COSTS


Michael Henriksen, Wavepiston CEO explained: “With reduced mooring and structural costs central to making our new technology commercially viable, it was essential that we partnered with a global offshore leader with experience in renewables. Vryhof met this criteria.”


SUCCESSFUL TRIALS


The Wavepiston technology has undergone a number of successful trials, including in a closed bay in 2013 and - more recently - three kilometres offshore of Hantsholm in Northern Denmark where wave height can be up to nine metres. Next steps include the scaling up of the ECs with commercial roll out expected by 2020.


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