Fiellberg, supplier of hydraulic cylinders, and Wavepiston, developer of the Wavepiston wave energy converter, have worked together in the Eurostars LOCWEC project on improving the control of the loads on the Wavepiston energy collectors.
Michael Henriksen, CEO of Wavepiston, explains: “One of the largest challenges for getting a competitive wave power system is handling the loads from the large waves, not only surviving the waves but also be durable to keep the costs for maintenance down. The large waves are not frequent, they count for less than 1 % of the year, but a wave energy converter must be designed to handle these and even the largest wave that can happen in a 100-year perspective.
“A proper load control is key to increasing the efficiency and durability of the system reaching a competitive levelised cost of energy and water.
“In the project we have had a good cooperation with Fiellberg to develop and test an improved solution for load control in relation to the hydraulics and flip mechanism. The aim was to improve the energy conversion by having larger plates on the energy collectors, more durable pumps and reaching a 7-years lifetime.”
Juha Elonen, managing director of Fiellberg, follows up: “The Fiellberg telescopic pumps have undergone several improvements during the project. We are very thrilled to see that we have achieved to get a more durable design in place within a reasonable short time with the support of the Eurostars grant. Eurostars is a very good programme for small, innovative companies in Europe.”
The project has now been finalised.
The improved load control system will be demonstrated in relation to two full-scale projects. One at Plocan, Gran Canaria, supported by EU’s Horizon 2020 SME Instrument, and one at a small tourist island, Isola Piana, Sardinia, supported by EU’s Horizon 2020 Fast Track to Innovation Programme.
In relation to the full-scale demonstration, Wavepiston is currently running an equity issue and negotiating with potential investors.