Oyster Wave Energy System Produces Electricity

Aquamarine Power’s tests on the Oyster wave energy converter have been declared a success. The device has now produced and exported electricity to the grid at the New and Renewable Energy Centre (NaREC) near Newcastle, for the first time.

By producing electricity onshore on a full scale test rig, Aquamarine has proven that Oyster can deliver electricity on a commercial scale. The output from a single pumping cylinder delivered more than 170 kilowatts (kW) of electricity proving that a full scale device, with two pumping cylinders, will deliver well in excess of the modeled output of 350 kW.

Testing commenced at NaREC in March this year and will continue until the end of April. During this phase, the company is optimizing the system settings, testing different components in terms of performance and fatigue and obtaining operational experience while producing predicted quantities of electricity.

The test rig is being driven by a hydraulic power pack hired from Pelamis Wave Power. The hydraulic rams drive the Oyster cylinder to produce high pressure water which is fed into a Pelton wheel that is connected to a generator to produce electricity.

Installation of the full scale machine at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney is scheduled for this summer. Aquamarine already has an agreement with Airtricity, the renewable energy division of Scottish and Southern Energy to develop sites capable of hosting 1,000 megawatts of marine energy by 2020 suitable for deployment of Oyster.

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