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Marine Power Systems unveils wave energy generator for sea-based testing

EBR Staff Writer Published 16 October 2017

UK-based Marine Power Systems (MPS) has unveiled and put to test its quarter-scale, prototype wave energy generator named as WaveSub which has been designed to address challenges of energy generation at sea.

The launch of the new wave energy generator, which has been built and assembled in Wales, would mark the company’s move to a new, sea-based phase of its development.

According to MPS, the energy generation device promises to take forward the rapidly growing marine energy industry by producing wave power that is reliable and affordable.

Marine Power Systems CEO Dr Gareth Stockman said: “With nearly a decade of research and development invested in the WaveSub, we are now at a point where an affordable, scalable and reliable wave energy device is within our reach.

“With continued government support and private investment, the WaveSub can bring down the cost of wave power generation so that in time it can compete favourably with offshore wind in terms of energy generation costs.”

WaveSub captures wave energy around 10km from shore by using the waves’ continual orbital motion to drive a sophisticated power-take-off (PTO) system for its operations.

Through an undersea cable, the generated power is transferred to the shore.

MPS says that at full-scale, a WaveSub device usually of 100m length and with a capacity of 5MW can provide power for around 5,000 homes.

Following its launch at Pembroke Dock, the WaveSub is being towed to the FaBTest marine test site in Cornwall. The WaveSub at this location will showcase its electricity-generation capacity across a wide range of sea conditions.

Apart from that, the demo project will show how quickly the device can be installed at a cost-effective price and how low its maintenance costs can be. Its survivability in the harshest of conditions will also be demonstrated during the test.

Image: Illustration of Marine Power Systems wave energy generator WaveSub. Photo: courtesy of Marine Power Systems.