Waveswing America seeks to demonstrate the benefits of sub-sea pressure-differential point absorber wave power generators for the production of utility scale power from offshore ocean sites. The team is building on significant past research work to deliver a device with unrivalled economics, power density and efficiency.
Update: Congratulations to Waveswing America on winning 3rd place in the Wave Energy Prize competition!
Waveswing America entered AWS Ocean Energy‘s Waveswing technology into the US Department of Energy’s prestigious Wave Energy Prize, making it onto the shortlist of 20 competing teams, out of an initial list of 92 entrants. This challenging competition included multiple rounds of design, testing and assessment at different scales, and offered the opportunity to test at the US Navy’s MASK Basin at Carderock, along with the chance to win a substantial cash prize to aid further development.
At two stages in the Wave Energy Prize programme, scale models of the wave energy convertor (WEC) were required for testing in a wave tank facility:
Working alongside AWS Ocean Energy, 4c Engineering successfully took the 1:50 scale model from concept sketch through to an engineered design ready for testing. On the basis of the 1:50 scale model’s strong performance in the Round 1 tank testing, Waveswing America made it through to Round 2, on an exclusive shortlist of 9 finalist teams.
For Round 2, building on our knowledge of the design of the first model and incorporating the experience gleaned in the first round of testing, 4c again successfully delivered the 1:20 scale model. 4c Engineering and 4c Design worked together as a seamless team throughout the design and build of the 1:20 model, benefitting from each other’s expertise on different aspects to achieve the end result. We worked closely with AWS Ocean Energy throughout both parts of the project, responding quickly to updates and changes required as the design progressed.
Working in close collaboration with AWS Ocean Energy, our engineers took the 1:50 scale model from a collection of sketches and outline dimensions through to a fully engineered physical model, ready for tank testing. Our activities included:
video courtesy of Waveswing America
For Round 2, a larger and more complex model was required, incorporating a linear motor on a gimbal arrangement and a more complex bearing arrangement for low resistance in motion. Starting from concept sketches, and building the design around the dimensions and forces of the central linear motor component, we took the 1:20 scale model from concept through to a functional design. In order to meet the tight deadlines before tank testing, the model was designed as a kit which was then built up by our colleagues at 4c Design in their workshop facility. Our activities included: