Dutch-based O&G floating production specialist SBM Offshore has taken the next step in its wave energy converter project, as it plans to carry out sea trials offshore Monaco from 2021.
SBM Offshore has been developing this new generation of breakthrough wave energy converter (WEC S3) since 2009.
The support of “Investissements d’Avenir” of the French State, entrusted to ADEME has facilitated SBM Offshore in this next step to put a prototype in the open sea.
While the WEC S3 has undergone basins tests over the past years in its development, based on the simulation of wave action, the sea trials from 2021 should facilitate the next step in industrialization of the technology.
The sea trial will test the system in real conditions to assess the system behavior, material ageing and power conversion systems, as well as allowing optimal integration in the marine life environment. At the same time, the prototype will deliver the first kWhs to the grid, SBM Offshore explained.
Didier Beynet, SBM Offshore Monaco Country Director, said: “While continuous R&D basin tests have validated the feasibility of our wave energy technology, the step towards industrialization requires a prototype to be tested at sea, which will be connected to the electricity grid. We extend our sincere appreciation to the Monaco government for facilitating this significant milestone, particularly given the international support for renewable energy demonstrated by the Principality under the leadership of HSH Prince Albert II.”
Described in simple terms by SBM, the prototype is a ‘floating rubber tube’, 60 meters long and 1.2 meters in diameter, which will be submerged at approximately 4 meters water depth. The sea footprint of the experimental site is approximately 300 meters by 80 meters with the anchors.