AW-Energy and Queen’s University Belfast have completed a six-month project that concentrated on recording the loads of different WaveRoller components, mainly the foundation and the panel, with an aim develop the WaveRoller solution further.
AW-Energy has also applied for additional MaRINET2 funding to continue the cooperation with Queen’s University Belfast, saying that the facilities provide an optimal setting for advancing the WaveRoller technology further.
The recently completed tank tests covered a wide range of design conditions of varying tides, sea states and wave directions. The results have shown that the design loads were accurately derived from the combination of numerical methodology and sea trial data.
“The main purpose of the tests was to understand the extreme loads better and compare them to the ones used in the design,” said AW-Energy’s Marine Engineer Matti Vuorinen. “The design loads were not exceeded yet weren’t too conservative either. This confirms our design methods are working well.”
Information on how the loading changes when some parts of the foundation are removed was also gathered during the tests. “This provides us with data used to reduce both size and cost of the foundation in the future,” Vuorinen said.
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 Framework Programme (H2020) under grant agreement no. 731084.
AW-Energy stated that the Queen’s University Belfast’s facilities have been purpose-built for developing wave energy in the nearshore environment.
“It is very satisfying that our expertise and tank facilities are being used by AW-Energy towards the development of commercial scale wave power generation. This fits the mission statement for our marine energy group at Queen’s which is ‘research excellence towards commercial development’. We are very pleased to be working with the company on such an exciting and pioneering project,” said Trevor Whittaker, Professor of Coastal Engineering at Queen’s University Belfast.
MaRINET2, though which AW-Energy is looking to support further collaboration with the university, is a €10.5 million project which includes 39 organizations representing some of the top offshore renewable energy testing facilities in Europe and globally. The project depends on strong international ties across Europe and draws on the expertise and participation of 13 countries.