Wave Energy Scotland – Technology Project Award

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4c Engineering are delighted to have been selected as one of four wave energy technology developers who were awarded a total of £2.84 million by Wave Energy Scotland (WES) after successfully competing to join stage two of an innovative technology development programme.

The funding will support further design, modelling and testing of technologies being developed through WES’s Novel Wave Energy Converter (NWEC) programme, one of a series of programmes designed to help commercialise the wave energy sector in Scotland.

WES selected 4cE’s proposal as one of four projects from a field of the most promising of eight applications from contractors in stage one of its NWEC programme, which focuses on solutions to capture wave movement.

WES, a subsidiary of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and funded by the Scottish Government, will support all projects that successfully pass through competitive stage gate reviews during the programme.

This latest announcement from WES brings the total investment by the organisation in wave energy technology development to £24.6 million across 56 projects in just over two years.

Tim Hurst, WES managing director, said: “Our competitive technology development process aims to bring forward projects that will promote greater confidence in the technical performance of wave energy systems. This, of course, calls for very rigorous assessment and some difficult decisions about investment. I am pleased to confirm our further support for these four projects through to the next stage of development and very much look forward to seeing how the project teams might further develop their wave energy converter designs.”

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4c Engineering’s project sees a continuation of our successful collaboration with Sea Power, further details on this can be seen below.

The Sea Power Platform is a low draft, low profile floating device which captures wave energy through relative motion of two hinged structures. The floating structures respond in heave and pitch to the oncoming waves and are configured to react against each other. Power is taken off at the hinged connection of the two structures. The device is slack-moored to the seabed using three or four mooring lines, depending on the size of device and the site.

In order to capture the maximum available energy, the Sea Power Platform is deployed in deep water, typically 10km or more off shore and therefore these devices will not be visible from land. Work carried out under the NWEC1 program has shown that wave farms consisting of these devices show very good potential to provide commercially viable grid-connected renewable energy. Recent work carried out by the company at the SmartBay test site in Galway demonstrated the ease with which the device can be installed and operated in a near real-sea off-shore environment.

Building on the knowledge gained through the Stage 1 ACER project, the Stage 2 project will continue to develop the Sea Power Platform via the following activities:

– Simulation and wave tank test programmes to investigate and optimise the device geometry and PTO damping strategy for best power capture at a given site;

– Load testing in extreme waves to provide inputs to engineering of partial-scale and full-scale designs;

– Concept engineering of full-scale wave energy convertor system, identifying solutions for all subsystems;

– Front end engineering design of a large-scale test device, to be deployed and tested at a nursery site.

– Development of operations and maintenance strategies for array of full-scale devices.

The 4cE team are excited about this award, and are expecting to expand to meet the demands of this latest challenge and other new projects, so keep an eye out for more news on that front!

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