WaveBoost

Led by CorPower Ocean, the WaveBoost project designed and developed an advanced power take off (PTO) system allowing wave energy converters (WECs) to operate safer and more reliably in harsh ocean conditions while increasing annual electricity production.

A summary of the achievements is available in the Waveboost project video.

Challenges Addressed:

Two key challenges associated with harnessing wave energy are addressed by WaveBoost:

Storm Survivability: Reliable and efficient damping of wave energy devices is critical for robust operation in adverse weather conditions. Innovative machine elements will be demonstrated that in all operational conditions, including operation with faults, can provide safety and control of the machine.  This effort aims at eliminating the risk of end-stop impacts, which has been a significant cause for failure in previous wave devices and can be a driver of large and costly structures.

Fluctuating power input from ocean waves: Solutions to smoothen power variability by innovative load shedding will be demonstrated aiming to improve the overall efficiency and economics of direct drive trains.

WaveBoost objectives:

This project’s main objective was to improve the reliability and performance of PTOs by developing and validating a revolutionary braking module with advanced control that can be coupled to different types of WECs. The WaveBoost module incorporates safety logic and energy redistribution functions beyond that of previous PTOs.

 

The specific project objectives and outcomes are:

  • Increase reliability and survivability of WECs;
  • Increase performance and reduce cost of WECs;
  • Improve grid integration of wave energy;
  • Increase system technology readiness;
  • Reduce the lifecycle environmental impact.

 

Results

End of project press release: WaveBoost project improves performance and reliability of wave energy

By implementing a stepped design process and performing an exhaustive testing program using advanced rigs on both critical components and the full integrated system, the technology has been validated in a cost effective low risk manner using proven and calibrated testing infrastructure.

 

Key outputs from the project include:

  1. The design of the WaveBoost module is technology-neutral, to be applicable to a wide range of WECs representing potentially over 75% of the current market, hence its successful demonstration provides multiple opportunities for commercialization to impact the entire wave sector.
  2. Design of the advanced PTO, including an advanced braking system for greater control of movement and a 98% reduction on overall flow losses.
  3. Development of HIL-rig and test plans for the advanced PTO.
  4. FMECA and VMEA analysis of advanced PTO informing design and testing processes.
  5. Detailed modelling of advanced PTO within multiple wave energy applications.
  6. Accelerated testing of seals within a bespoke, state-of-the art Seal Test Rig, resulting in a 70% improvement on seal friction.
  7. Biofouling and corrosion testing in a real sea environment.
  8. Estimated 21.3% to 26.9% improvement in Annual Electricity Production (AEP), based on a target power matrix.
  9. LCOE analysis undertaken of three array sizes; 50MW, 300MW and 1GW. Estimated 18.0% to 29.3% reduction in LCOE.
  10. Lifecycle analysis undertaken of a 50MW array deployed in Scotland, resulting in a carbon intensity of 31.4gCO2e/kWh, comparable with other renewable technologies and over 10 times less than conventional gas turbines.
  11. Socioeconomic analysis undertaken of a 50MW array deployed in Scotland, resulting in €166M GVA and 2088 job years supported.

 

The project outcomes and results are disseminated for the benefit of the ocean energy industry through published reports. These reports can be downloaded on the CORDIS website and by clicking here: WaveBoost Results

Lasting impact:

The learnings from the WaveBoost project have been carried forward as CorPower Ocean move towards the manufacturing, dry testing and deployment of their next full scale C4 WEC.

 

WaveBoost partners

The WaveBoost project brings together a consortium of sector leaders from Sweden, Portugal and the UK: