CorPower has constructed the world’s largest wave energy test-rig following an intense two-year project.
The 45-tonne moving mass system, installed at CorPower’s Stockholm base, is capable of simulating ocean wave conditions anywhere in the world. The design, build and accreditation has been supported by key supplier ABB and accrediting body DNV.
Measuring 40m in length and 9m in width, the system will play a fundamental role supporting CorPower’s flagship HiWave-5 demonstration project, involving the deployment of the firm’s first full-scale WEC (Wave Energy Converter) off the coast of Portugal, later this year.
For the last decade CorPower has been steadily undergoing a rigorous five-stage product development and verification process, which initially started with small scale tests in Portugal and France. It later progressed to a half-scale WEC prototype, which also underwent dry-rig testing prior to sea trials in the Orkney Islands, Scotland, in partnership with utility firm Iberdrola.
“We are thrilled to announce the completion of the world’s largest wave energy test-rig,” said CorPower Project lead Antoine Boudoin, responsible for delivering the system. “It’s one-of-a-kind and purpose built to test the overall performance and survivability of CorPower’s WECs at full-scale. The test-rig catapults us to the next phase, enabling us to perform a broad range of isolated tests, involving individual modules and equipment, before eventually testing the device as a complete integrated system in the ocean. Dry-rig testing is a highly effective process helping debug, improve, stabilize, fine-tune and optimise WEC systems before offshore operations, which are costly and weather dependent by comparison. As we now progress to full-scale we will continue with our rigorous approach to prove the robustness and durability of CorPower’s technology.”
CorPower’s commercial scale WEC – 9m in diameter with a 300KW power rating – will spend around 4-months on the test-rig, which can deliver 7.2MW peaks and generate 80.6kNm torque, with 5 m/s maximum speed.
The full consortium of partners supporting the test rig project include ABB (drive train and control system), Katsa Oy (gearbox) Wittenstein (gear rack) Särkinen industries (large mechanical parts) Vallourec (pneumatic cylinder) Blue Future (assembly) and Weforma (dampers).
Additional partners providing third-party approval include DNV-GL (pressure equipment) Rejlers (electrical installation and machine safety) and KIWA.
About CorPower Ocean
CorPower Ocean brings a new class of high efficiency Wave Energy Converters (WECs) enabling robust and cost-effective harvesting of electricity from ocean waves. The design principle is inspired by the pumping principles of the human heart and offers five times more energy per ton of device compared to previously known technologies, allowing a large amount of energy to be harvested using a small and low-cost device. The CorPower WEC’s unique ability to become transparent to incoming waves provides survivability for the WEC in storm conditions.
CorPower’s is headquartered in Sweden, with offices in Portugal, Norway and Scotland. The company has received broad backing across Europe, with funders including EIT InnoEnergy, the European Commission, the Swedish Energy Agency, AICEP Global (Norte2020), Wave Energy Scotland, Midroc New Technology, ALMI Invest Greentech, SEB Greentech VC and additional private investors.
CorPower’s HiWave-5 Project
CorPower’s HiWave-5 Project continues in northern Portugal following a decade of product development and three decades of research on wave hydrodynamics. The Swedish-headquartered developer is currently fabricating its first commercial scale C4 WEC – a 9m diameter device with a weight of 60 tonnes and 300kW power rating. Dry testing in Sweden is scheduled for the first part of 2021, before ocean installation at the Aguçadoura site in Portugal towards the end of the year. This will be followed by three additional CorPower C5 machines in 2023 to form a pilot array and secure type certification. A 10-year marine license (TUPEM) has been secured for the use of the Aguçadoura site located offshore south of CorPower’s facilities in Viana do Castelo.
Product verification process
CorPower follows a structured five-stage product verification program recognized as best practice in the sector. It includes verifying step-by-step that the business case is supported by the physical and economical metrics in each stage starting with small scale prototypes in Stage 1 to full scale array demonstration in Stage 5. Dry testing in controlled simulated wave loading on-land to debug and stabilize the machines prior to ocean deployment is a key part of the strategy. It includes a rigorous Certification process with DNV-GL and independent validation of device performance by EMEC and WavEC.
What Makes CorPower technology unique?
The CorPower Wave Energy Converter (WEC) produces 5 times more electricity per ton (>10MWh/t) than any other known wave technology by combining: storm survivability and strongly amplified power capture in regular sea conditions. CorPower WECs can harvest the same amount of Annual Energy from a buoy with 1/10 volume compared to conventional point absorber WEC. As comparison, a 300kW CorPower WEC has a diameter of 9m and weighs 60 tonnes. Getting large amounts of electricity from a small device significantly reduces CAPEX. The compact lightweight devices are also less costly to transport, install and service, bringing down OPEX.