Optimisation project shaves costs of wave power

A technology optimisation project has ‘exceeded all expectations’ and has made another leap in terms of bringing down the costs of wave energy.

Trident Energy – an independent developer of enabling technology for the offshore renewables industry produced a re-designed concept, named PowerPod II, what it calls a major advance in its WaveDrive project, which is aimed at developing a generic power take-off (PTO) system for use in a broad range of wave energy converter (WEC) devices.
Alan Mackay, project lead for 42 Technology working on Trident’s new PowerPod II concept
Trident’s WaveDrive project was awarded almost £0.5M in development funding earlier this year from Wave Energy Scotland (WES) as a Stage 2 project in its PTO innovation call.

The new PowerPod II concept is based on a single generic design that can be adapted for use in different types of wave energy converters and certain tidal energy devices, potentially enabling higher manufacturing volumes, lower cost and faster commercial deployment.  The new concept is similar in size to its predecessor but it generates 50 per cent more electrical power on each stroke thus helping WEC developers implement more cost-effective and competitive systems.

The magnetic stack configuration has been optimised to allow the linear generator to operate horizontally, widening the available options for installation and operation.  Improvements to the seal design for ‘in-sea’ operation and a more robust bearing solution have been implemented to further increase reliability and reduce maintenance cycles. The improved PowerPod II design is also fully controllable using solid state power electronics, which opens the door to advanced “real-time” control systems and improved energy capture efficiency of WEC devices.



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