Thailand invests in subsea wave power project

1 August 2023

Thailand’s state energy company, PTTEP, has joined the Renewables for Subsea Power collaborative project which is intended to prove the concept of powering subsea equipment with wave power and intelligent subsea energy storage.

The £2million demonstrator initiative, which has been launched in the north of Scotland, has connected the Blue X wave energy converter – constructed by Edinburgh company Mocean Energy – with a Halo underwater battery developed by Aberdeen intelligent energy management specialists Verlume.

The fully operational project, which is now in its testing phase, located off the coast of Orkney, aims to show how green technologies can be combined to provide reliable low carbon power and communications to subsea equipment, offering a cost-effective alternative to umbilical cables, which are carbon intensive with long lead times to procure and install.

PTTEP is the Thai national petroleum exploration and production company and operates in numerous countries worldwide. The business has a stated ambition to build readiness for the energy transition and to explore opportunities in renewable energy.

PTTEP will now join project leads Mocean Energy and Verlume to become consortium partners alongside Baker Hughes, Serica Energy, Harbour Energy, Transmark Subsea, and the Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC).

Joining RSP will provide PTTEP access to all data and results of the test programme, and it will be able to offer input to test plans. It will also be provided with a feasibility assessment of the use of RSP technology at a location of its own.

The Orkney deployment is the third phase of the Renewables for Subsea Power project. In 2021, the consortium invested £1.6 million into phase two of the programme – which saw the successful integration of the core technologies in an onshore test environment at Verlume’s operations facility in Aberdeen.

In 2021, Mocean Energy’s Blue X prototype underwent a programme of rigorous at-sea testing at the European Marine Energy Centre’s Scapa Flow test site in Orkney where they generated first power and gathered significant data on machine performance and operation.

Verlume’s seabed battery energy storage system, Halo, has been specifically designed for the harsh underwater environment, reducing operational emissions and facilitating the use of renewable energy by providing an uninterrupted power supply. It is controlled by the company’s intelligent energy management system, Axonn, which autonomously maximises available battery capacity in real time.

Image: Mocean Energy's Blue X wave energy converter

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