Seapower Ltd. are currently leading a SEAI-funded 1:4 scale project which will see the platform (at its current development level) undergo performance testing as well as extreme survival tests in operational sea trials for the first time. This project will see the deployment of a 1:4 scale demonstrator platform, moored in 1:4 conditions at the Smartbay Test Site in Galway Bay, Ireland. Seapower engineers have designed this WEC broadly to DNV standards and guidelines and the design has come through a rigorous Third Party Evaluation process. At the time of writing the WEC construction has been completed by Foynes Engineering to the highest quality, and is currently involved in a wet shakedown. Phase 2 of this project will involve testing and installing a demonstrator PTO unit composed of gearing coupled to an electrical generator on the hinge of the platform. Data from this testing will feed into the design of the full scale WEC and full scale PTO.
Seapower Ltd. also have a supporting role in the WES-funded ACER project, which is currently testing novel configurations of the floating platform’s pontoon shapes at 1/25th model scale. A novel WEC damping strategy is also being developed. DNV/GL will be involved in numerical analysis of the emerging candidate. An expert structural and concrete team from ARUP have been subcontracted to develop a robust CapEx model for the full scale WEC based on the best pontoon shapes.
Seapower Ltd. also have a supporting role in the WES-funded PTO project, along with partners Limerick Wave Ltd., and wind turbine gearbox designers Romax Technologies. This exciting feasibility and techno-economic study has almost been complete and target outcomes achieved for Stage 1. Seapower will endeavour to remain within this long term project to develop the PTO further. The next phase will consider tank testing with a model of the Seapower Platform with representative PTO options installed on board, along with considerably more bench testing of the geared PTO transmission options.