Photo by Matt Hardy (2018).

As part of the EU-funded EuropeWave program, Mocean Energy has begun tank testing a 250kW wave machine called the Blue Horizon that could offer insight into the future of supplying energy to remote and island communities, reports Offshore Energy.

Testing will take place over eight days at a testing facility at the University of Edinburgh, an environment capable of representing different sea states. 

Cross-European innovation

Mocean Energy is an Edinburgh-based wave power specialist that has won one of seven technology developers’ contracts for the first phase of the €20 million R&D program – a joint effort between Wave Energy Scotland (WES) and the Basque Energy Agency (EVE). This program also has support from the European Union via its Horizon2020 program. 

The result will ultimately see three prototype technologies tested at two sites in Orkney, UK, and Spain. 

Blue Horizon is a mid-scale wave energy machine that is hoped to provide power to more remote communities and islands. The wave firm is using bespoke 25th and 50th scale models of the Blue Horizon created by FloWave using an advanced 3D printer. 

After each phase, evaluations will be carried out to progressively select the best of the competing solutions. The technology developer with the most economical idea will receive a call-off contract for the next phase, under the framework agreement.

Further testing through larger variants

Founder and chief scientist at Mocean Energy Chris Retzler, said: “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 program 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.”

The final phase of EuropeWave will see three different technologies undergo testing in real sea conditions in 2025.

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