Laminaria has released a video showing tank testing of its wave energy converter conducted at the Coastal, Ocean and Sediment Transport (COAST) laboratory as part of the LAMWEC project.
Leading the design simulations work package for LAMWEC, Innosea tested a 1:16 scale model at COAST laboratory at Plymouth University to explore the load regimes that Laminaria’s wave energy converter (WEC) will experience when it is tested at full-scale at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in 2017.
As a key challenge for the wave energy sector is the survivability of WECs in extreme storm conditions, the main focus of LAMWEC is to prove the survivability of a pre-commercial scale WEC which incorporates Laminaria’s innovative load management mechanism and storm protection system.
Rémy Pascal, Specialist Engineer at Innosea who oversaw the tests, said: “The tank tests provided insight into the optimum size of the device in regard to site specific wave conditions for overall performance. Most crucially, we found that the device performance at the EMEC wave test site could be significantly improved by using a larger device than the one initially planned for before the tank tests.
“Additionally, the tests show that clever use of submergence will allow control of the power being captured regardless of the significant wave height, which is a positive outcome concerning the dimensioning of the power take-off (PTO).”
Following the tests at Innosea, Laminaria decided to scale up the device to be tested at EMEC by 18% to increase the efficiency in capturing the energy of the waves, Laminaria’s CEO, Steven Nauwelaerts, said in a recent interview for Tidal Energy Today.
Nauwelaerts added that the results of the tank tests have provided confidence in the concept of the survival mechanism – a key element of the LAMWEC design.
He said: “The irregular wave tests proved that the concepts for the two survival mechanisms work: both the overdrive mechanism and the submergence efficiently managed to keep the loads in the mooring lines below a programmable threshold. The results from these tests will be invaluable to the other work packages in the LAMWEC project, informing the development of the anchor system, moorings, storm protection system, and PTO.”