European Marine Energy Centre and FloWave offer ‘one-stop-shop’ to next-generation of wave-power developers

The FloWave test tank
The FloWave test tank

Scotland’s world-leading wave energy test centres have joined forces to support technology firms aiming to develop the next generation of wave energy converters.

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, and the FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility at Edinburgh University will work together to offer real-world technical input and tank testing capability to developers applying to Wave Energy Scotland’s latest funding call on novel wave energy converter concepts.

The call will offer up to 100% funding to develop novel wave energy concepts that have not previously been developed and characterised.

The Wave Energy Scotland quango expects to fund up to eight projects with a total £2.4 million. Up to £300,000 of funding is available to each project selected, and test tank performance and validation testing. The deadline for applications is 13 August 2015.

To date, more marine energy converters have been deployed in Orkney, Scotland, than at any other single site in the world.

The FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility is a 25 metre circular pool that can duplicate complex waves and fast currents for project sites around the UK and Europe.

With scale waves greater than 24 metres, currents faster than 14 knots, and a huge test area equivalent to more than 2 km2 of ocean, the FloWave tank is also large enough for testing larger devices up to 1/10th scale.

Oliver Wragg, EMEC commercial director, said: “As well as having some of the best wave energy resources in Europe, Scotland has the most advanced test facilities in the world. “At EMEC we have more than 10 years’ experience in helping developers prove full and part-scale wave energy convertors in real sea conditions, whilst FloWave has been designed from the ground up to be the best facility in the world for testing wave and tidal energy devices at tank scale.”

Stuart Brown, FloWave’s chief executive, said: “FloWave is already developing tools to replicate the exact conditions experienced at EMEC within the test tank – a vital tool for demonstrating that device concepts are both ‘fit for purpose’ and should proceed to the next developmental stage of funding from Wave Energy Scotland.

“By ensuring that tank testing reflects real-world conditions to the greatest extent possible, and in particular the actual EMEC sites where devices are likely to be deployed in the later stages of development, FloWave and EMEC can jointly offer a clear route ‘from the lab to the ocean’ for any new technology.”

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