Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Wave power pilot plants

An experimental offshore point absorber 45 kW wave power converter was installed and tested on 30 m of water in the Danish part of the North Sea between 1989 and 1990 (phase 1).
The most important experience gained from phase 1 is as follows:
valves should be constructed as many, relatively small units instead of few large units;
anchor lines should be designed in such a way that the rope and end fittings are not subjected to mechanical impacts (universal joints or bending strain reliefs are recommended);
the components of a test plant should be dimensioned in such a way that failure of a single component does not lead to failure of others;
large piston pumps require accurate construction, good wearability and low friction;
submerged turbines and generators with fixed speed connected to the grid should be used.

Fouling on the lining of the piston and pump tube did not take place while the plant was in operation. The bottom structure is founded directly in sandy sea bottom without any particular safety measures against scouring. Over 11 months only very little scouring was observed. On a sandy bottom it is recommended that a skirt is used along the periphery of the structure. Sedimentation in the pump housing itself was negligible. The construction experience has been considerable and very valuable for further development.

A smaller, but further developed 1-2 kW pilot plant is being planned (phase 2). The plant is expected to be installed in the North Sea near Hanstholm in May 1994. The power converter will be equipped with a short term energy storage, a partly air filled buffer chamber, to create a smooth and steady flow through the turbine.

Reported by

Danish Wave Power ApS
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