Wave Energy:  Mocean starts EuropeWave test programme

The 250kW Blue Horizon wave energy machine

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MOCEAN Energy has begun tank testing models of their 250kW Blue Horizon wave energy machine as part of the EU funded EuropeWave programme.

The Edinburgh wave power specialists are one of seven technology developers awarded contracts for phase 1 of the €20 million R&D scheme, which will ultimately see three prototype technologies tested at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney and the Biscay Marine Energy Platform (BiMEP) in Spain.

The eight-day development programme is taking place at the world-leading FloWave test facility at the University of Edinburgh, which is able to generate representative sea states for both sites.

Blue Horizon is a mid-scale wave energy machine designed to deliver grid power to remote and island communities.

“The purpose of our testing is to validate our numerical models and the hydrodynamic performance of our 250kW design,” explained Chris Retzler, Founder and Chief Scientist at Mocean Energy.

“We already have a huge amount of real-world data from our 10kW Blue X prototype which was deployed successfully at EMEC last year. This is now being developed into our commercial 20kW Blue Star device which will provide autonomous power to a range of subsea equipment, inspection and maintenance systems.”

“The 250kW Blue Horizon is a much bigger machine. It will be 2.5 times the length of Blue X but will generate 25 times the power.”

“This test programme is enabling us to take what we know already and further refine and validate our numerical models, looking specifically at optimum power production and survivability of the Blue Horizon in the actual sea states it could experience at BiMEP or EMEC,” Retzler explained.

The wave firm is using bespoke 25th and 50th scale models of the Blue Horizon created by FloWave using an advanced 3D printer. 

“There is no facility better suited to our requirements and the test and validation programme is going well,” Retzler concluded.

EuropeWave is an innovative R&D programme for wave energy technology which has adopted a pre-commercial procurement model similar to the one pioneered by Wave Energy Scotland. It combines around €20 million national, regional and EU funding and is a collaboration between Wave Energy Scotland, the Basque Energy Agency and Ocean Energy Europe.

The programme has a three-phase stage gate approach comprising:

  • Phase1: Concept development
  • Phase 2: Front end engineering and detailed design
  • Phase 3: Open-sea deployment and testing programme

After each phase, evaluations will be carried out to progressively select the best of the competing solutions. The wave energy technology developers with the best-value-for-money solutions will be offered a call-off contract for the next phase, under the framework agreement.

The final phase of EuropeWave will see three different technologies undergo testing in real sea conditions off the coasts of the Basque Country and Scotland in 2025.

The EuropeWave project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No 883751.

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