NEMOS has started testing its 2019 Wave Energy Converter (WEC) prototype in Ostend, Belgium.
Following a series of handling and installation tests, the machine was finally deployed at its mooring system 500 meters off the coast of Ostend in October.
The process went smoothly when the self-floating system was towed by a tugboat and coupled to its anchor lines. “It was exciting to see the floater starting to operate by the energy of the waves.” said Oliver Epsom, lead offshore engineer at NEMOS. “It was a proud moment for the entire team.”
While some of the NEMOS staff members coordinated the works at sea, further colleagues observed the machine via online-monitoring in the control center at Duisburg. “It was a relief to see all systems operating and witness the first electrical power generation,” added Dr. Alexander Martha, operations manager at NEMOS. “We all were familiar with the WEC system from CAD models, tank tests and assembly works, however it was a great impression to actually see this machine working in North Sea.”
During the operation, the WEC functioned as planned and important data was gathered. Due to adverse weather forecasts, the WEC was recovered to shore at the beginning of November.
NEMOS is currently analyzing the data from the test to compare the machine’s performance against predictions. Once the gathered information is completely post-processed the test program will continue.
The intention is to perform longer duration tests in more challenging sea conditions to prove long-time operation and extreme event survivability.