AW-Energy Substition for New Surge O2 Ocean Wave Energy in Portugal

AW-Energy (AWE) has now completed the first step by installing a new substation for their SURGE2 project in Peniche, Portugal. For more information see the IDTechEx report on Wave, Tidal and Hydro Power 1W-10MW 2018-2038.   “The previous substation used for project SURGE (2012 – 2014) is replaced by an improved new substation with a higher rating, which is better suited for project deliveries and the maritime climate,” said Jussi Åkerberg, CTO of AWE. The installation team included AWE and a Spanish team from PROinSENER Energía who built it based upon an Abengoa design specification.

The substation, located on land, connects the WaveRoller device to the grid using transformers, frequency converters and other electrical components. Abeinsa Engineering has been responsible for the project coordination of the new substation’s detailed design and manufacturing. The supplier of the substation is PROinSENER Energía. Abeinsa Engineering and PROinSENER Energía are both Spanish companies.   AW-Energy sourcing local and global suppliers for serial production AWE has worked with an experienced supply base to build this First-of-a-Kind WaveRoller unit (FOAK). To ensure serial production capacity, AWE is expanding the development of its supply chain by supporting and advancing local production at WaveRoller project sites.

“In our view, WaveRoller projects should benefit local business and employment, which is why we aim to set up a supply chain that supports this goal,” said AWE, CEO Christopher Ridgewell.   As well, AWE is now sourcing new goods and service suppliers globally including steel works, castings, machining, bearings, hydraulic components, electrical components and several other procurement categories.

“AWE is preparing for the production roll-out phase for customer programs already in the pipeline. The key to success in enabling AWE’s WaveRoller production is an efficient and reliable supply chain with first-class suppliers and sub-contractors,” said Jussi Åkerberg.

AWE expects potential suppliers to support AWE to meet the cost-efficient and reliable ramp-up of WaveRoller production. Previous similar references from renewable energy, marine or offshore industry applications are a merit when considering the best suppliers for WaveRoller projects. Standard quality requirements are to be met by the supplier as are sufficient management systems certified by a reputable accreditation body.   Producing wave energy electricity for the Portuguese grid The SURGE2 project follows the successful SURGE project, where AW-Energy demonstrated the technology with a grid connected device producing electricity to the Portuguese grid from a site fully exposed to the ocean storms.

This new project, SURGE2, is also designated a FOAK (First of a Kind) project and has been designed to meet ESB’s WestWave requirements. Manufacturing of the main components for this new industry (begun in 2016) have been sourced globally – Canada, Finland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and the UK. The main subsystems are the foundation, power take off, panel and panel bearings. The project was financed by AW-Energy and a loan from Finland’s TEKES (now Business Finland).   About the WaveRoller and AW-Energy Oy The WaveRoller is a device that converts ocean wave energy to electricity. The machine operates in near-shore areas (approximately 0.3-2 km from the shore) at depths of between 8 and 20 meters. Depending on tidal conditions it is mostly or fully submerged and fixed to the seabed. A single WaveRoller unit (one panel and PTO combination) is rated at between 350kW and 1000kW, with a capacity factor of 25-50% depending on wave conditions at the project site. The technology can be deployed as single units or in farms.

Manufacturing of the main components of the WaveRoller have been sourced in Canada, Finland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and UK. The WaveRoller technology provides three unique proven benefits:   The WaveRoller is installed and operating in the nearshore area with easy access to the site, protected from extreme conditions with a minimized balance of plant infrastructure cost. It captures power with a bottom fixed panel (oscillating wave surge converter) – this highly efficient power capture can operate in low-, mid- and high-sea states with no cut-off and with only one moving part. It converts movement to electricity using an onboard power storage and hydraulic system – with a smooth and grid-compatible power output, the ability to establish and support the grid and a low maintenance design with an onshore substation.