Mocean Energy has begun tank testing models of its 250 kW Blue Horizon wave energy machine as part of the EU funded EuropeWave programme.
Mocean is one of seven technology developers awarded contracts for phase 1 of the €20 million R&D scheme, which will ultimately see three prototype technologies tested at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney and the Biscay Marine Energy Platform in Spain.
The eight-day development programme is taking place at the University of Edinburgh’s FloWave test facility, which is able to generate representative sea states.
Blue Horizon is a mid-scale wave energy machine designed to deliver grid power to remote and island communities. “The purpose of our testing is to validate our numerical models and the hydrodynamic performance of our 250 kW design,” stated Chris Retzler, founder and chief scientist at Mocean Energy. “We already have a huge amount of real-world data from our 10kW Blue X prototype which was deployed successfully at EMEC last year. This is now being developed into our commercial 20 kW Blue Star device which will provide autonomous power to a range of subsea equipment, inspection and maintenance systems. The 250kW Blue Horizon is a much bigger machine. It will be 2.5 times the length of Blue X but will generate 25 times the power. This test programme is enabling us to take what we know already and further refine and validate our numerical models, looking specifically at optimum power production and survivability of the Blue Horizon in the actual sea states it could experience at BiMEP or EMEC.”
The wave firm is using bespoke 1/25 and 1/50 scale models of the Blue Horizon created by FloWave using a 3D printer.
- EuropeWave is an R&D programme for wave energy technology that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme. It has adopted a pre-commercial procurement model similar to the one pioneered by Wave Energy Scotland. It combines around €20 million national, regional and EU funding and is a collaboration of Wave Energy Scotland, the Basque Energy Agency and Ocean Energy Europe.
The programme has a three-phase stage gate approach that covers concept development, front end engineering and detailed design, and finally open-sea deployment and testing programme
The best solutions go to the EuropeWave final stage, which will see three different technologies undergo testing in real sea conditions off the coasts of the Basque region and Scotland in 2025.