The Danish company Wavepiston has installed the first full-scale modules, of its wave energy converter (WEC) at the test site of the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN). Their device allows the conversion of wave motion into electricity and desalinated water.
PLOCAN was chosen by Wavepiston because of the test infrastructure in place including necessary environmental approvals. The access to the test site is subsidised through a grant from the Interreg AA Blue-GIFT project, which is funded by the European Commission and aims to support Atlantic Area companies to test their next generation ocean energy technologies in real sea environments and thus demonstrate that ocean energy is economically feasible.
Wavepiston’s wave energy prototype was assembled in the Port of Las Palmas and towed to PLOCAN’s test area. The system comprises a chain of wave energy collectors stretched between two anchored buoys. The plates of the collectors move when waves roll along the system, pumping pressurised sea water into a pipe leading to a turbine or a reverse osmosis system, in order to obtain energy or desalinated water. The current set-up is a pre-installation where they are testing two energy collectors. The first full string with 24 energy collectors is planned to be installed in the autumn.
The main characteristics of this technology are its flexible, robust and light structure, its modular design and its low impact on the marine environment.
Michael Henriksen, CEO of Wavepiston said: “We are very pleased to be in the water at PLOCAN with a pre-installation where we are testing two energy collectors. Based on the experience from the pre-installation we plan to install the first full string with 24 energy collectors in the autumn. Through the test infrastructure and services of PLOCAN we are setting out to demonstrate our capabilities at full scale, and to be ready for the commercial phase by 2023″.