Survivable – Accessible – Financially feasible – Easily maintained
The Waves4Power system is based on many years of experience and marine service operations, resulting in a wave energy converter design which focuses on the SAFE concept.
Survival at Sea
Size matters and in the ocean small is beautiful. Survival of the fittest is represented by navigation and weather buoys known to live on for decades and some even for a century in the ocean. WaveEL is like the weather and navigation buoys – an experts on survival.
The trick is not to fight the waves but ride them. By building small buoys in relation to the waves in which they work you ensure to put the odds of survival on your side. WaveEL is an 8 meter diameter buoy, optimized to ride the wave while harnessing the greatest possible amount of ocean energy without exposing itself to the ocean’s devastating forces.
From Smaller Vessels
In the wave climate where WaveEL performs the best, there will be but few opportunities when the weather allow for a visit to the wave power buoy. Accessibility than is key.
Generating Green Energy at the Right Cost
Without a profitable system there will be no future for wave power. The four key parameters that determine the cost of the power produced are easily defined but not at all as easily obtained. They are the manufacturing cost, the cost of launch and retrieval, the maintenance cost during the life of the device and finally the system efficiency or output.
The cost of building a wave power device is much dependent on the amount of raw material needed. For this reason the parameter kWh produced per unit of weight have lately become a key factor in comparing different systems. The WaveEL buoy has one of the highest outputs per unit of weight [kWh/year/kg] that is known in the industry.
The launch of wave power systems have proven to be both expensive and quite risky with several spectacular failures during launch or transport to deployment site. Wave4Power has showed the feasibility of using smaller devices than many competitors prefer to do. The benefits are ease of handling during deployment and with Waves4Power’s unique logistics approach from start to finish these “small” units are perfectly suited for mass production. As production volume increases the cost is driven down and the positive effects of learning curve improvements are fully utilized.
Cost of Operation and Maintenance during the 25 year lifetime of the device amounts to more money than the initial investment. The WaveEL buoy’s accessibility and modular design makes for minimized O & M cost.
The working principle of the WaveEL wave energy converter is such that it has a natural overload feature and may continue to work where most other systems would need to shut down, which makes for a high capacity factor with efficient output as a result. In addition the hydraulic conversion system is capable of storing energy for brief periods between waves, smoothing the output and utilizing the generator capacity more efficiently.
Modular and Standard
The WaveEL buoys are built with all components placed in modules that are easily replaced with no need to move the buoy from its moorings. The modular concept reduces service time at sea where the cost of operations is the highest. The module in need of repair is brought to shore where the job can be performed in a dry clean environment.
Furthermore the hydraulic conversion system – with the exception of the hydraulic ram – is placed inside an air tight stainless steel vessel minimizing the risk of spill or leakage of oil from the system.
Already in the design phase the O&M (Operations and Maintenance) challenges were considered and solutions built into the system. The monitoring system W4P have developed with its partners and suppliers is capable of not only monitoring and recording output performances but also monitoring the condition of individual key components – through the use of built in sensors – and determining the preventive maintenance needed before a break down is imminent. This state of the art technology is particularly important for a wave power installation as the cost of service is very high and the window of opportunity to perform service and access the wave power buoy may be very limited during parts of the year.