The Swedish Energy Agency has granted an additional €2 million in funding for sea-trials off Scotland of a ‘break-through’ new wave energy device which its makers claim can harness five times more energy from the ocean at a third of the cost of current technologies.
The HiWave wave-power machine has been developed by CorPower Ocean and nurtured by KIC InnoEnergy’s Highway Programme. The funds will be used to run tests in the Atlantic off the west coast of Scotland.
HiWave has demonstrated high efficiency rates in wave energy absorption, delivering five times higher energy density compared with previously developed technology, and at a third of the cost. This new investment is in addition to €6 million already invested by KIC InnoEnergy and the Swedish Energy Agency.
The testing of the 25kW (scale 1:2) HiWave device will be done in two steps – first in a dry hardware-in-the-loop rig testing phase during Summer 2016, then an ocean test phase in Spring 2017. The testing will be done in shelter site with a wave climate suited for the scale 1:2 program.
These trials will be watched with much interest – and possibly also much envy – by Wave Energy Scotland, set up by the Scot-Government following the recent sinking of some of Scotland’s hitherto best wave-power prospects.
Cunningly, the HiWave power machine uses a floating buoy on the wave surface to mechanically transfer the kinetic energy to a sub-sea power take-off/ generator – where it is protected from the more harsh and hostile surface weather.
“Our next goal is to test the prototype in the sea off the coast of Scotland, and to show the same good performance as in the previous scale trials conducted in Portugal and France. If the project reaches these set goals, it will mark a major step forward for wave power globally.
“CorPower has grown from a one person company with a small scale prototype to a 12 person team with a proven device that can tap into the under-utilised power of the ocean”
KIC InnoEnergy has invested a total of €3 million in the breakthrough since its inception in 2009. The company has also provided support by connecting CorPower with Iberdrola Engineering and WavEC for collaboration, developing its supply chain, putting forward partnerships with established industry-leading drive train and cylinder manufacturers.
Kenneth Johansson, Chief Executive, KIC InnoEnergy Sweden added: “The ocean has enough power to cover more than 10% of the world’s energy demand,”
“I am very excited that the support and funding that KIC InnoEnergy has put into HiWave is resulting in a disruptive potential breakthrough within the wave power industry.”
KIC InnoEnergy is financially supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). Whilst a profit-oriented company, it has a “not for dividend” financial strategy and reinvests all its profits back into the organisation’s activities.