SPOTLIGHT ON SWEDEN
GAME CHANGING WAVE ENERGY TECHNOLOGY
CorPower Ocean develops disruptive wave energy convertor technology, offering a five times higher energy-to-mass ratio than conventional point absorbers. Today, its half-scale prototype is under-going extensive testing in Sweden and will be deployed in real sea conditions by the end of the year
GAME-CHANGING CorPower’s wave energy convertor (WEC) can be a real game-changer for the wave energy sector. Originally developed by Cardiologist Dr Stig Lundback, the design is inspired by the pumping principles of the human heart. It uses a phase control system to resonate with waves and significantly increase the amount of energy it captures. This, combined with the systems pneumatic pre- tension system, means that the size of the buoy is significantly smaller than similar technologies – and cheaper to produce.
STEP BY STEP DESIGN
Since 2012, CorPower has followed the five-step development progress established as best practices by International Energy Agency’s Ocean Energy Systems programme, and by Wave Energy Scotland.
At stage 3, CorPower’s HiDrive project is the most advanced in the Wave Energy Scotland programme. Today, its half-scale S3 prototype delivers power to the Swedish grid at a dry test facility in Stockholm.
Next up, CorPower will take this half-scale S3 prototype to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Scotland for testing in real sea conditions later this year. A total of €6.5m has been invested in CorPower’s stage 3 programme by InnoEnergy, the Swedish Energy Agency and Wave Energy Scotland.
SPECIFICATION CEO, Patrik Möller, outlined the technology’s specifications: “The half-scale prototype is a 4.2m buoy in diameter, with 25KW rated average power. If you double the diameter you get about 11 times more power, so the full scale device will be around 250KW to 300KW rated capacity.”
COLLABORATION IS KEY Patrik and his team have been under no illusions about the scale of the task ahead of them: “We have a completely new type of gear arrangement, that we call a cascade gearbox, our Wave Spring modules that provide the phase control and we have the pre- tensioning system. Each of these technologies is novel in itself and the combination brings a step-change improvement to the efficiency of harvesting wave energy. That’s really exciting from an engineering design point of view. But the scary side is that you could have a whole new start-up that could concentrate only on each of those technologies individually.”
Möller says developing the right industrial partnerships have been the key to overcoming these challenges: “If you look at the complexity of industrialising our cascade gearbox technology, it’s a big engineering challenge. But once we found a partnership with Swepart Transmission AB (a volume manufacturer of gearbox technology), their technical teams and their design and manufacturing experience has made it happen. That partnership has been critical to our success.”
The unique ability of combining high linear velocity with high loading has found additional use in other industries. A spin-off company, Cascade Drives AB, was formed in 2015, supplying industrial equipment manufacturers with actuators, enabling electrification and autonomous vehicles among different things.
CorPower is also driving collaboration around Power Take-Off (PTO) systems for wave energy devices via their €4m WaveBoost project, funded by the European Commission.
PATHWAY TO COMMERCIALISATION CorPower will conclude its dry-testing programme this summer, ahead of a deployment at EMEC before the end of 2017. Front end engineering design has already begun on its full scale WEC, which is scheduled to be manufactured and deployed between 2018 and 2020.
CorPower www.windenergynetwork.co.uk www.wavetidalenergynetwork.co.uk
PROTECTION IN AGGRESSIVE ENVIRONMENTS SPOTLIGHT ON SWEDEN
The Ocean Energy sector needs material protection systems to be able to deal with very hard challenges
Ocean energy devices and components are subject to one of the most aggressive environments. Corrosion, mechanical stress, biofouling and biocorrosion challenge the reliability of materials used.
OCEANIC PROJECT CONSORTIUM Focusing on exposed metallic surfaces the Oceanic project consortium has proposed a composite coating (metal and polymer) working as well against corrosion as against marine biofouling. This is possible by modifying the Thermal Spray Process in order to incorporate a polymeric powder loaded with a new antifouling weapon.
A novel and flexible antifouling concept,
demonstrated for the transport sector in the FP7 EU project LEAF is contact active and thus opens up for novel applications, even when not paint based. This AF Tech is able to protect surfaces against biofouling for years and can works as well in paint as in polymeric materials.
THERMAL SPRAYED ALUMINIUM (TSA)
TSA on the other hand is a well- established technique in the anticorrosion coatings sector. The TSA creates an aluminium foam layer which protects against corrosion. Recent studies have shown that barnacle attachment on TSA coatings, can increase by 10-100 fold the erosion rate of aluminium foam.
To avoid this the main goal of Oceanic coatings is fusing a well-established
technology used on land with an emerging technology from marine material protection science.
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