Ocean Harvesting commissions test-rig for InfinityWEC power take-off with instant force control capabilities

Ocean Harvesting Technologies (OHT) has commissioned a Hardware in the Loop (HIL) test rig at scale 1:10 to validate the InfinityWEC power take-off (PTO) with instant force control capabilities.

The test rig simulates the buoy motion with force feedback from the PTO system, and will be used to validate the complete functionality of the PTO and control system as in a complete WEC for real sea conditions. The functionality includes (i) instant force control capability in combination with efficiency and constraint-aware predictive control, amplifying energy capture, and (ii) a soft two-stage end stop, holding the buoy submerged through the crest of large waves to ensure both survival and continued, reliable power production even in the harshest conditions. The test rig will later be used as a platform to develop and evaluate AI-based control strategies and design principles, to further refine InfinityWEC’s capability to capture maximum power from each wave. The project is co-financed by the Swedish Energy Agency and will be completed by February 2022.

The developed control system will be used in the sea trial of a complete InfinityWEC system at scale 1:3, to take place on the Swedish west coast. The sea trial project is planned to start in 2022 and key suppliers are Sigma Energy & Marine, Acumo/NSK, and Beckhoff, among others. RISE Research Institutes of Sweden is partnering in the project and will be responsible for validation of the integrity of the hull that includes sustainable high performance concrete and biofouling as outcomes in the research project WEChull, financed by the Swedish Energy Agency.  

The sea trial in scale 1:3 will demonstrate that InfinityWEC is on track towards LCoE 100 EUR / MWh at 100 MW installed capacity and < 35 EUR / MWh at 5 GW installed capacity. System performance will be tested in real sea conditions and results will be used to validate and calibrate the simulation tools to predict energy yield, ownership cost, affordability, availability and process efficiency. The commercial-scale single device demonstration is planned to start in 2024, to be followed by array installations on commercial terms. The road map to commercialization follows the staged development process recommended in the Ocean Energy Systems (OES) framework, a technology collaboration program by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

OHT is, furthermore, performing a feasibility study on how a wave farm installation could provide electricity to one of Lundin Energy Norway’s oil & gas platforms. The study includes sizing and specification of the wave farm, energy storage, handling procedures and a life cycle cost assessment. OHT also participates in three joint industry collaborative projects led by RISE: WECHull (hull materials), Seasnake (dynamic power cables) and NextWave2 (sensor technology and algorithms for wave prediction).

OHTs technology is protected by five patent families filed since 2017, covering all vital aspects of the power take-off and control system, the buoy design and general arrangements.