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Content archived on 2024-04-19

European wave energy pilot plant on the island of Pico, Azores, Portugal


The project concerns the detailed design and partial construction of a European wave energy oscillating water column (OWC) pilot plant (rated capacity about 500 kW) to be installed on the island of Pico, Azores, Portugal. The primary objectives of the project are: i) to demonstrate the technical feasibility of OWC wave power plants by building one on a commercial scale; ii) to provide a facility for testing power take-off equipment, namely air turbines, generators, control equipment and valves (the OWC structure can provide a test bed for the purpose); iii) to assess and validate the overall design methodology (structure geometry, specification of the equipment), the structural design of the chamber, the design and adequacy of the various pieces of equipment, and to assess the methodology for predicting energy production.

The project concerns Phase One of the detailed design and construction of a European wave energy pilot plant of oscillating water column (OWC) type to be installed at Porto Cachorro, on the northern shoreline of the island of Pico, Azores, Portugal. The Azores islands were considered of special interest, because they are regarded as particularly suited to shoreline wave power plants from the viewpoints of wave energy resource, local electrical grid size, coastal geomorphology and (small) tidal amplitude.The project involves the partnership of four R&D institutions and one enterprise of engineering and consultancy, all with wide experience in wave energy technology and resource characterization, and also the electrical utilities of the Azores Archipelago (EDA) and the mainland Portugal (EDP). The concrete structure will be built in-situ on rocky bottom (about 7m water depth), spanning a small natural harbour facing the most energetic wave direction, where wave energy concentration has been observed to occur. The power plant will support two horizontal-axis Wells turbine-generator sets, with a total power rating of 2x250kW. The generator is of the wound rotor, induction type, and will be capable of operating over a relatively wide range of speeds (between the synchronous speed and about twice its value). A relief valve system will be mounted on the top of the structure. The proposal concerns the basic studies, detailed design and construction of the structure (up to its roof). Phase Two (to be proposed in due time) will include the upper part of the structure (machine room), the mechanical and electrical equipment, the remaining civil engineering works, and the commissioning.

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1,Avenida Rovisco Pais 1
1049-001 LISBOA

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Participants (5)