Prototype Wave Energy Device Also Produces Fresh Water
UK-based shipyard A&P Falmouth says it has been awarded a contract by Seatricity to construct the wave energy device, which is designed to provide both fresh water and electricity simultaneously.
In the simplest terms, explains the shipyard, the device Oceanus 3 is a 10m in diameter floating ring with cross tubes, travels up and down with the waves and operates a pump to pressurise sea water to drive a hydroelectric turbine to produce electricity. The float is tethered to blocks on the seabed and the pumps are linked together to generate substantial amounts of highly pressurised water. This pressurised sea water can also be used for directly producing fresh water by the reverse osmosis desalination process. Both fresh water and electricity can be produced simultaneously.
The last few years has seen rapid growth for A&P in the industry, thanks to its focus on meeting the needs of renewable energy firms. Oceanus 2 will be built in the fabrications workshops, assembled on the quayside and deployed from a wharf at A&P’s shipyard in Falmouth.
The wave energy device will be deployed in spring 2014 and if successful, it will pave the way for the manufacture of a further 60 devices. Seatricity plans to develop a full-scale 10MW grid-connected array over the next two years at Wave Hub, some 10 miles off the coast of Hayle, not far from the shipyard.
Paul Weston, A&P Falmouth’s Renewable Energy Technical Manager, said: “We are absolutely delighted to win the contract to build Seatricity’s next generation device to be deployed later this year Wave Hub, which is only a short distance from our shipyard in Falmouth. “This is a tremendous boost, not only for A&P Falmouth but also for the local supply chain and demonstrates Cornwall’s growing reputation in the marine renewable energy industry.