The ACER Project – Attenuator Cost of Energy Reduction

A large proportion of our engineering effort over the last few years has focused on this complex R&D project with Sea Power Ltd, developing their Seapower Platform wave energy convertor (WEC).  4cE led a consortium which applied for and won significant funding from Wave Energy Scotland, managing the contract throughout:

  • Stage 1:  £300k over 12 months, one of 8 teams (out of 37 entrants) to secure funding;
  • Stage 2:  £660k over 15 months, one of 4 teams who progressed from Stage 1.

The project was multi-disciplinary in nature, and can be considered as a collection of inter-related sub-projects, as detailed in the boxes below.


4cE’s involvement contributed to significant advances in bringing the technology forward towards commercialisation, including:

  • Robust 3rd-party-verified characterisation dataset of the device’s performance across a wide range of environmental conditions;
  • Development of a complex simulation model, validated by tank test campaigns, which is now a valuable tool for assessing performance and loading of different device configurations;
  • Concept engineering of the full-scale device, and investigation of different mechanical assemblies and construction methods;
  • Areas of uncertainty identified, failure mode (FMECA) analysis undertaken, and solutions developed to reduce technology risk;
  • Complex techno-economic model built up of the device in different locations, enabling robust assessment of the long-term Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE);
  • Huge improvements in understanding the performance and costs drivers of the device, highlighting routes to reducing LCOE, and ultimately strengthening the future investment case for the Seapower Platform.

1. Project Management

4cE were responsible for:

  • Design of multi-disciplinary projects over 3 years, including test programmes;
  • Leading successful applications to secure funding;
  • Project management of all packages of work (as detailed in other boxes) including full control of cashflow, reporting, and delivery of milestone submissions;
  • Maintenance of technology and project risk registers, and chairing of design reviews;
  • Identification and engagement of new supply chain for novel components;
  • Management of subcontracts for specific packages of work.