AWS wave energy converter arrives in Orkney for EMEC demo

1 February 2022

On 25 January a new wave energy converter, developed by Inverness-based AWS Ocean Energy, has arrived in Orkney, Scotland, ahead of its imminent deployment at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC).

The 16 kW Archimedes Waveswing arrived at Hatston Pier, Kirkwall before being transported to Copland’s Dock in Stromness where it will be readied for deployment at EMEC’s Scapa Flow test site in February.

Weighing in at 50 tons, the seven-metre high, four-metre diameter device travelled to Orkney by ferry following a period of dry testing undertaken by the AWS engineering team at Muir of Ord. Marine operations for deployment of the device will be carried out by Stromness-based Green Marine.

When deployed, the Waveswing machine is moored to the seabed and sits below the surface of the sea, reacting to changes in pressure caused by passing waves. It is moored on a single tension tether. The subsea location and ability to winch low in the water column enables extreme storm loadings to be avoided so that the device can continue to operate in rough sea conditions. It is designed to react to long ocean swell waves as well as short, wind-driven seas, for higher energy capture.

The £3.4 million prototype project has been funded by Wave Energy Scotland (WES) as part of the Novel Wave Energy Converter development programme. The demonstration at EMEC is also supported by the Interreg North-West Europe’s Ocean DEMO project.

Simon Grey, CEO of AWS Ocean Energy said: “Our current Waveswing design focuses on remote power applications such as powering subsea oilfield assets and oceanographic monitoring, however the device is suitable for integration into submerged platforms and can be scaled to over 500 kW per unit. AWS expect to develop platforms hosting up to 20 units with a potential capacity of 10 MW per platform. The exciting thing about [the machine] is that it’s genuinely scalable and practical to integrate into a multi-absorber platform. Achieving power outputs comparable with offshore wind units is critical to driving down the cost of energy and ensuring that operation and maintenance is practicable in the hostile marine environment.”

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