RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
WAVE-DRIVEN SEAWATER PUMP DEMONSTRATION
Atmocean will demonstrate its wave- driven seawater pump this September at the Lord’s Cove test facility operated by College of North Atlantic in Newfoundland, Canada. The effort will see Atmocean connect its seawater pump to the college’s pilot integrated multi-trophic aquaculture system, currently rated capacity of one half ton of salmon per year. By operating throughout the harsh winter months, Atmocean will be able to assess durability and maintenance requirements, as well as pressure and flow output.
COMMERCIAL DEPLOYMENTS Following testing in Newfoundland, Atmocean expects to achieve commercial deployments by end of 2019 in southern Peru where it has teamed with a land and development partner interested in using the pressurized seawater for both sustainable aquaculture and desalination.
Atmocean, Inc. is a New Mexico-based company founded in 2006 to develop wave energy systems. The company has raised $3.5 million from angel
investors and co-workers to date, supporting several design iterations including full-scale manufacturing of prototype seawater pumps, over 100 days of ocean testing, five sets of wave tank tests and eight years of technical support from Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories.
Atmocean INSTREAM TURBULENCE KIT DEPLOYED ON EMEC MONITORING POD
The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) has redeployed its bespoke Integrated Monitoring Pod, fitted with innovative turbulence instruments to help measure the impact of turbulence on tidal energy devices.
Prior to deployment, the pod was fitted with a MicroRider turbulence system designed by Rockland Scientific, a Canadian company specialising in marine turbulence. The sensor system combines standard flow measurement technology (acoustic and electro-magnetic) with novel non-acoustic measurement technology (shear probes).
INTEGRATION OF NEW INSTRUMENTS Integration of the new instruments on the pod has been made possible thanks to the InSTREAM (In Situ Turbulence Replication Evaluation And Measurement) project, funded through a transatlantic partnership between the Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA), a Nova Scotian not-for-profit research group and Innovate UK, the UK Government’s business and innovation organisation. Aiming to improve the industry’s understanding of turbulence, the project will enable tidal energy developers to optimise design so that technologies can withstand the effects of strong tides and currents. Led by Rockland Scientific, the
InSTREAM project brings together UK-based FloWave TT, Ocean Array Systems and EMEC, and Canadian companies Dalhousie University and Black Rock Tidal Power.
ADDRESSING SHORTCOMINGS Commenting on the successful deployment, Peter Stern, Vice President of Engineering at Rockland Scientific, said: “The flow through tidal passages is, by nature, extremely turbulent and this flow speed variability affects the reliability and efficiency of tidal stream turbines. Accurate measurement and numerical modelling of turbulence is therefore vital for designing and deploying tidal technology, as well as assessing the risk and cost of operations.
“The InSTREAM project is addressing the shortcomings of existing measurement instrumentation to allow ‘real-world’ field measurements to be down-translated to tank-scale and vice-versa, providing developers and manufacturers the ability to evaluate the dynamic behaviours of sites and turbine designs at model scale and full-scale.” He continued: “The results from this applied research project will address technical challenges that ultimately reduce uncertainties in site design, yield assessments, and device design, reducing operational and economic risk.” The project is being carried out in both
UK and Canadian waters – at EMEC, and at FORCE in Nova Scotia, Canada. Tests have already been completed at the University of Edinburgh’s FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility which can replicate tidal characteristics found at EMEC’s Fall of Warness tidal test site in Orkney where the Pod has been deployed. The site experiences tides of up to 4m/s, or eight knots, at peak tide. Donald Sinclair, Engineering
Technician at EMEC, oversaw the latest deployment: “The pod was successfully deployed during a recent period of neap tides in a short weather window and is now feeding live data back to our data control centres in Stromness and Eday via a subsea cable. We’re delighted to see it back in the water with the new InSTREAM instrumentation.”
PLUG-AND-PLAY PROTOTYPE The pod has been designed as a plug-and-play prototype with the ability to install additional sensors as required. In addition to the turbulence monitoring system, the Pod has undergone further improvements since it’s last deployment, with new Valeport current sensors installed alongside a recovery system developed by a local marine contractor, Leask Marine, which negates the need for divers operating in a tidal situation.
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
DELIVERING COST- EFFECTIVE POWER
Many attempts have been made to develop a cost- effective technology to convert the energy in ocean waves into electricity
Wave Swell Energy (WSE), with a staff that totals more than fifty years of combined experience in the development of oscillating water column (OWC) technology, is now able to deliver power from waves at costs that are comparable to that of conventional fossil fuel electricity generation when developed at scale.
OSCILLATING WATER COLUMN The technology of Wave Swell Energy is based on the well-established concept of the oscillating water column. An OWC is effectively an artificial blowhole. It is a large hollow concrete chamber, partially submerged and sitting on the seabed, and vented to the ocean through an underwater opening. The chamber also includes a small opening to the atmosphere above the water line, in which is housed an air turbine.
As wave crests and troughs pass the OWC, water enters and leaves the chamber through its submerged opening. This water rises and falls inside the chamber, causing the pressure of the air trapped above to oscillate between positive and negative pressure. These pressure fluctuations force the air to pass by a turbine at the top of the chamber, generating electricity as it does so.
ONE DIRECTION AIR FLOW The fundamental difference between the Wave Swell Energy OWC technology and that of other companies using OWCs is that, via
an ingenious conceptual difference, proprietary to the company, the WSE turbine is only exposed to air flow from one direction. This results in a much simpler turbine design, which is also more robust, more reliable, and at the same time exhibiting a higher energy conversion efficiency.
NO MOVING PARTS There are no moving parts in or below the water. This means maintenance is only ever required to be performed on the easy-to-access regions well above the ocean.
The fundamental commodity produced by the Wave Swell Energy technology
is electrical energy. Connected to the WSE turbine is an off-the-shelf generator, chosen for its compatibility with local grid requirements. Electricity is generated at whatever frequency and voltage is required for easy transmission into the grid.
The standard Wave Swell Energy OWC produces a peak power output of 1MW. For multiple unit projects of 20MW or more, the cost of generation of energy in regions with good wave climates is expected to be under US 7 cents per kWh.
Wave Swell Energy
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