Aquanet Power validates 1MW PTO for next year ocean deployment

Aquanet Power has commissioned a full-scale 1MW air turbine power take-off (PTO) system which will be integrated into the wave energy device set for 2018 deployment off Taiwan.

Hong Kong-based clean technology developer Aquanet Power informed it concluded the trials of the 1MW PTO in its newly constructed full-scale wind tunnel test facility in Taoyuan in Taiwan.

The facility was purpose-built to replicate various characteristics of both regular and irregular wave conditions in order to validate and optimize the PTO system for operations in any sea conditions, the company said.

The testing of the full-scale 1MW bi-directional reaction turbine, completed in June 2017, has exceeded modeled performance efficiencies, thereby improving the overall wave-to-wire efficiency of the PTO system, according to Aquanet Power.

The system is now ready to be deployed not only with Aquanet Oscillating Water Column (OWC) but also with any other suitable OWC type of wave energy devices, as a plug-and-play solution for any sea condition in the world, the company claims.

“The test and validation of its 1MW PTO system has helped the company to de-risk the system integration and control algorithm before it is deployed at sea. Significant cost savings are achieved by commissioning and fine tuning the PTO on land prior to its deployment at sea,” Aquanet Power said.

Aquanet Power’s PTO test facility (Photo: Aquanet Power)

The standardized PTO system is used for all product variants of the technology, for shallow water and deep water applications, with small adjustments to suit any given project location, according to Aquanet Power.

The PTO has been optimized for integration with Aquanet’s shallow water wave energy converter, dubbed aquaWAVE, a fully patented L shaped oscillating water column (OWC).

The device has a concrete structure and sits under its own weight on the ocean floor with no mooring or anchoring aid.

It is planned for deployment off the north-east coast of Taiwan early in 2018, Aquanet Power confirmed.

In addition, a smaller size wind turbine will be added with the unit to enhance the overall annual output. The wind turbine integration is currently being engineered, Aquanet Power said.

“Once deployed at sea, this will be the world’s first 1MW single hybrid unit of wave and wind energy converter. This project aims to demonstrate the technology’s economics, compelling commercial potential and its reliability in a wide variety of sea conditions, including typhoon conditions,” added Aquanet Power.

The company also said it secured the full project capital expenditure (CAPEX) for the full-scale 1MW rated capacity test facility and PTO system as well as for the balance of project, with its developer partner in Taiwan, AAG.

The first 1MW hybrid wave and wind converter is expected to cost less than $5 million.

Aquanet Power also revealed it is developing array projects in Scotland, and Taiwan, with plans for the application of the technology being considered for other parts of the world.

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