Two firms in Scotland have secured £2.5m (~€2.8m) to trial prototype technology which could provide a cost-effective, reliable way of turning wave power into electricity.
Inverness-based development body Wave Energy Scotland (WES) has awarded the funding to Edinburgh companies Artemis Intelligent Power and Quoceant.
Artemis’ managing director Niall Caldwell said Orkney’s European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) would be a “very strong contender” as a test site for the equipment once it is ready for sea trials.
Caldwell said the companies believed their Quantor ‘digital displacement hydraulics’ system was a “fundamental advance” in capturing mechanical power generated by renewable sources.
He added: “We have combined the established advantages of hydraulic power – controlling tremendous forces in harsh environments at comparatively low cost – with the latest in smart digital control, to enable dramatic improvements in the efficiency and controllability of wave energy devices.”
With the WES support they will build and demonstrate a complete hybrid power transmission on a laboratory test rig. It will simulate the behaviour of a wave energy converter responding to a range of different real sea conditions.
“Quoceant’s engineers have accumulated thousands of sea hours of practical experience in hydraulic power systems, and we have already proven in the lab that the Quantor concept performs as we expected,” Caldwell said.
“Although the testing is taking place in a controlled environment in Edinburgh we will ultimately move on to full scale testing at sea, and EMEC would be a very strong contender to be an early test site.”
WES managing director, Tim Hurst, added: “After an extensive evaluation process, these technologies were assessed to be the best in the programme and worthy of further development.”