Objectives of the Project
- To construct one shoreline oscillating water column wave power device with three columns giving a plane water area of 170m2.
- to install one counter rotating Wells turbine generator module with two generators of 250kW each giving a combined name plate capacity of 500kW with a peak electrical output of 750kW which in conjunction with pressure relief, will accommodate pneumatic powers up to 3MW,
- connect to the electrical distribution grid and run the plant as a power station during the final phase of the work producing an average annual output of up to 1,800MWhrs in a year with an average resource of 20kW/m, - fully instrument the plant, monitor the performance of the power transform wave to wire and compare with the predicted values obtained from the physical and mathematical models,
- provide the necessary information to improve the design of future wave power plant with a view to commercialisation of the technology both in Europe and World wide.
A novel construction method will be adopted in which the water column chambers will be cast on a slipway formed in the coastal rock10m in from the shoreline. Thus the construction site will be protected from most sea conditions by the natural solid rock wall which will be removed when construction is complete. The water column chambers will be constructed using a combination of steel-concrete composite sections, modular pre-cast units and in-situ concrete to demonstrate how units could be mass produced in future replications using a standard design.
The turbine will comprise a pair of Wells rotors mounted on individual generators allowed to counter rotate. A modular construction approach will be used with interchangeable parts. Ease of maintenance, robust construction and duplicated fail-safe systems are prerequisites of the design. The pneumatic power supplied to the turbines will be limited by a pressure relief system in the plenum chambers thus limiting stall on the blades.
- a working wave power generating station capable of supplying 1,800MWhrs of electrical output in a year with an average annual wave climate of 20kW/m. - a better knowledge of power train matching, system control, component design, environmental impact and performance prediction which is essential for the successful commercial replication of wave power technology.
Significance of the project
The project will provide a significant step towards the commercial exploitation of wave power technology as the plant will comprise standardised elements which can be replicated and combined to provide stations of variable capacity for different sites and wave climates. Power train performance and quality of output are key features of the project in conjunction with the demonstration of novel construction methods and manufacturing processes.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
BT3 9HA Belfast
BT12 6RZ Belfast