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CorPower deploys half-scale WEC unit at EMEC for testing

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CorPower Ocean AB successfully deployed its half-scale C3 point absorber wave energy converter (WEC) at the European Marine Energy Center’s Scapa Flow scale test site, offshore in Orkney, Scotland.

According to EMEC, on Jan. 16 the C3 WEC was connected to a floating microgrid unit provided by EMEC. The unit is designed to allow the C3 device to behave as if it were grid connected by providing a stable voltage and frequency reference, simulating the impedance of a typical grid connection, absorbing power from the device under test and providing power to auxiliary systems.

Data derived from the C3 WEC deployment and testing at EMEC will help determine the unit’s potential effectiveness in wave energy farm arrays for off-grid operations in an environment addressing market segments such as islands, offshore installations or remote coastal locations around the world.   

According to CorPower, the wave farm concept is based on combining hundreds to thousands of units in arrays, with a common grid export cable that connects the offshore wave farm to existing on-land grid. With a WEC rating of 250 kW per unit in a typical Atlantic coast climate, this enables 10- to 250-MW wave farms that have 40 to 1,000 units. The concept allows mass production to drive down cost per unit and a maintenance scheme based on replacement of entire units at sea.

The EMEC deployment follows C3 WEC dry dock testing at CorPower’s base in Stockholm, Sweden, from which the company is involved in ongoing research for marine energy.

In January 2017, as part of an overall US$4.7 million research grant from Wave Energy Scotland (WES) for WEC development, CorPower as the lead partner with Balmoral Offshore Engineering and Wave Venture was awarded $303,515. The award was part of the WES HydroComp program, which seeks assessing the viability of hybrid fiber reinforced polymer prime movers for point absorber WECs.

According to WES, the HydroComp effort is meant to benchmark target outcome metrics for WEC affordability, availability, survivability and performance, and the overall impact on levelized cost of energy.

In 2016, HydroWorld.com reported the European Commission awarded CorPower a $4.4 million grant to help fund development of WaveBoost technology.

WaveBoost is a three-year Horizon 2020 funded innovation program targeting significant improvements in the reliability and performance of WECs by using pneumatic components in combination with advanced control technology. The efforts are expected to increase energy production, reduce capital expenditure and improve grid integration of wave energy farms, resulting in a reduction in the cost of energy of up to 30%.

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