Seapower News

DOE Waves to Water Design Stage Winners

Sea Power Ltd in collaboration with lead company MarkZero Prototypes LLC has once again won out by becoming DESIGN Stage winners in the USA DOE funded Wave-to-Water challenge.

Our team proposed a detailed design of a desalination system that uses wave energy alone and a novel transportable version of the Seapower Platform to provide clean drinking water for disaster relief and coastal communities.  The smaller modular system, known as the  MZSP Freshwater Production System, uses a series of high pressure, direct acting pumps to feed into a Reverse Osmosis plant on board the device, and pump this freshwater to shore.

The next stage in the DOE funded challenge will be to adapt the PTO for shore testing. The site identified for future offshore testing is Jennette’s Pier in North Carolina.  Sea Power Ltd. and MarkZero Prototypes LLC also intend to carry out further local testing of subsystems at Enniscrone Pier, Co. Sligo. We have already successfully carried out a physical demonstration and test at this pier to pump water a distance of 220m to shore using a portable discharge hose, using the same available head and flowrate that the MZSP device is capable of developing.

Learn how the DOE promotes the innovation of novel technologies using prize funding here:

Seapower News

DOE Waves to Water Concept Stage Winners

Sea Power Ltd in collaboration with lead company MarkZero Prototypes LLC are CONCEPT Stage winners in the USA DOE funded Wave-to-Water challenge!

Our team proposed a concept of a desalination system that uses wave energy alone and a new transportable version of the Seapower Platform to provide clean drinking water for disaster recovery and coastal communities.  The modular system, known as the  MZSP Freshwater Production System, uses a series of high pressure, direct acting pumps to feed into a Reverse Osmosis plant on board the device.

The next stage will involve refining the idea using further numerical modelling, detailed design, and laboratory/field testing.

Learn how the DOE promotes the innovation of novel technologies using prize funding here:

Seapower News

New Collaboration with USA-based MarkZero Prototypes

MarkZero SeaPower (MZSP)

Connecticut based MarkZero Prototypes LLC and Irish based Sea Power Limited have teamed up to take part in the US Department of Energy’s Wave to Water competition. The mission is to develop and deploy a working prototype of a small scale wave energy driven reverse osmosis system. The prototype will use a novel RO pumping system with energy recovery, and be powered fully by available wave energy acting on the WEC.

The MZSP Freshwater Production System is an easily deployable wave attenuator with an on-board reverse osmosis system. It is designed to be small and modular and deployable in emergency and disaster relief scenarios. It collects the freshwater in nearby flotation bags. Alternatively, the water can be hosed to a nearby vessel or back to shore.

A video of the concept can be seen here:

Both companies intend to commercialise the new product and make it available to NGOs, the military or to remote off-grid communities where there is a demand for freshwater produced by renewable energy means. A larger scale version of the system is also under development that could provide water to remote islands at a fraction of the cost of some existing operations.

Seapower News

3rd Place in Wave Energy Scotland programme

Sea Power Ltd. and 4c Engineering narrowly missed out on a further round of Wave Energy Scotland (WES) funding that was to see a 1:3 scale Seapower Platform deployed into the Billia Croo test site in Orkney in 2020. The scoring for the bid was extremely close and the team at Seapower and 4cE are disappointed to not be progressing to the next stage with WES.

We are grateful for the strong support we have received from WES over the past two years. The WES Stage 1 and 2 projects have allowed the Seapower Platform to advance considerably towards commercialisation, and Seapower will now explore other avenues for funding of a 1:3 scale or 1:2 scale pre-commercial Wave Energy Converter (WEC), to build further on the good work done under the WES programme.

Seapower News

Collaboration with Wood and Exceedence

The only way to make the most out of a renewable energy project is to carry out comprehensive techno-commercial evaluation of the technology. Exceedence Finance software empowers users to complete such evaluation, using Flexcom-based software as an input to WEC performance at a target deployment site for a wave energy farm (array).

An independent Seapower Platform LCOE Case Study was carried out by independent companies Wood and Exceedance acting together. Wood have particular expertise in Numerical Modelling while Exceedence  are experts in RE-specific Financial Modelling. For a WEC array to be commercially viable, the LCOE for the array must be less than the tariff offered by the end user. E.g. If the tariff is 15c/kWh then the LCOE must be less than that value. Tariffs of 22c/kWh are presently being offered for wave and tidal projects in Ireland.

  • Wood (formerly Wood Group) have achieved close agreement between OptiWave/Flexcom and the original LCOE modelling carried out using WEC-SIM, which is based on the previous research performed by 4c Engineering and Seapower Ltd under the Wave Energy Scotland (WES) NWEC2 project.
  • Exceedence have finalised their financial assessment and this will be available to publish as a Case Study. They demonstrated positively low LCOE results for the Seapower Platform, and current levels of under 15c/kWh for Arrays of Seapower Platforms.

“The levelised cost of our technology is ultimately a measure of how competitive the technology can be, and will determine its commercial uptake in the renewable energy sector. We needed to prove to our funders and to the public that we could engineer down the costs of the Seapower Platform™ in a systematic way, and that this process has been key to our design decisions. We have spent significant time and resources learning how to do this ourselves with help from our Scottish partners, as OptiWave wasn’t available at that time.

We are very satisfied with the engineering and financial assessment performed using OptiWave, and in particular the demonstration of a realistic path to low and competitive LCOE levels.  The advances in power production capabilities demonstrated by the software should also assist us in the search for further investment required to take our technology to TRL levels 8 & 9, and demonstrate that the technology has the potential to lower LCOE even further.  The integrated natures of the engineering and financial models, in addition to the online database of wave resource information, are major plus points for us. We believe LCOE is the best metric to determine the competitiveness of all technologies in this sector”

We have also commissioned Wood’s visualisation team to create a high definition promotional video based on the engineering simulations for a Seapower Platform Array:


Seapower News

New Contract with 4CEngineering and WES


Sea Power Ltd is very excited to announce the award of a Stage 2 Wave Energy Scotland contract led by consulting engineers 4cEngineering  to further develop the novel Seapower Platform wave energy converter. The contract provides for 100% of Seapower and 4cE’s project costs and has been awarded following its submission to Wave Energy Scotland’s competitive Novel Wave Energy Converter (NWEC) funding call.

Wave Energy Scotland was established in late 2014 as part of Highlands and Islands Enterprise and is fully funded by the Scottish Government. Wave Energy Scotland provides funding packages for the development of innovative technologies to produce low cost, efficient and reliable components and subsystems which can form the basis of cost effective wave energy generation for Scotland.

The previous 1st Stage NWEC1 covered testing various novel geometry configurations of Seapower Platform models at ~ 1:25 scale, with numerical analysis carried out by DNV/GL, and a fully transparent and auditable LCOE model was created. Importantly, this round of tank testing at KHL Strathclyde led to a discovery about the most performance-sensitive aspects of the device. 

This newly awarded 2nd Stage will build on the knowledge and experience gained in both the NWEC1 project, and Sea Power’s 1:4 scale device deployment at SmartBay.

The NWEC2 project will:

  • Use further numerical modelling to optimise the Seapower Platform for maximum performance based on newly discovered performance-sensitive aspects of the device.
  • Concept engineering of the full-scale Seapower Platform device.
  • Include comprehensive tank test programmes to investigate performance in spread seas, and structural loading to inform design. This tank testing will be conducted at the Flowave Facilities in Edinburgh in early 2018.
  • Front End Engineering Design of the optimised (Best LCOE) configuration for a medium-scale prototype of the Seapower Platform for offshore deployment in Billia Croo, which includes a representative PTO and control system;
  • Further develop operations and maintenance strategies for array of full-scale devices.
  • Planning for stage 3 deployment into the Scapa Flow and Billia Croo test sites (NWEC3)


Seapower News

Successful Testing (Increasing our TRL)

Ireland’s ocean energy capability one step closer to reality as Seapower survives winter at Sea

March 13, 2017

Seapower platform testing at Galway Bay wave energy test site.Photo credit Aengus McMahon

An Irish-designed device to generate electricity from ocean wave power is another step closer (Advancing their TRL) to breaking into the massive potential on offer in the ocean energy market.

Irish company, Sea Power Ltd., has concluded the winter survivability testing programme of their prototype wave energy device at the Galway Bay Marine and Renewable Energy Test Site. In the coming week the device will be removed from the test site and brought back into Galway Docks.

This is a significant advance for the eight-year project, which has been a collaboration between Sea Power Ltd., SmartBay Ireland, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and the Marine Institute. Following successful testing at small scale, the company progressed to quarter scale testing in open sea conditions in Galway Bay for the first time last October.

Wave energy devices, such as the Seapower Platform, will ultimately harness the extraordinary power of the waves off Ireland’s coast. The success of Sea Power at sea has brought Ireland closer to sharing in the future growth, job and low-carbon rewards that ocean energy can bring to coastal communities in the West of Ireland.

Commenting on behalf of SEAI Declan Meally, Head of Emerging Sectors said: “It’s very encouraging to see innovative Irish ocean energy technologies progressing through the country’s testing facilities. Companies such as Sea Power Ltd could provide the solution for unlocking the huge renewable energy potential that our oceans can provide. While progress will take some years yet before commercial solutions are available, it is through testing and development that Ireland is showing leadership in this sector.”

The National Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan (OREDP) approved by Government in 2014 outlines the vision and goals for development of the offshore renewable energy sector in Ireland. This identified a potential of up to 50,000 jobs generated in Ireland by 2050. Many of these could be realised along the west coast in future years.

Peter Heffernan, Marine Institute CEO said: “Sea Power Ltd is a great example of an indigenous Irish company developing novel technology to harness the power of the ocean. Having brought their device through various small scale prototypes, it is exciting to see this new technology successfully testing over the winter months in the sea at quarter scale.”

SEAI and the Marine Institute are working together to develop Ireland’s ocean energy testing infrastructure which includes tank testing facilities at Lir National Ocean Test Facility in Cork, the consented quarter scale test site in Galway Bay and the planned full scale Atlantic Marine Energy Test Site off the Mayo coast.

The Galway Bay Marine and Renewable Energy Test site has been in operation since 2006 and is currently licensed to operate until 19th March 2017. In line with the Government’s Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan, the Marine Institute applied in April 2016 for a new foreshore lease to allow testing of a wider range of marine renewable energy devices to provide researchers and those involved in developing ocean energy devices with a world class permitted area in which to safely test and demonstrate quarter-scale prototype ocean energy converters and related technologies. No determination on this application has been received from the licensing authority to date.

The Seapower Platform will be removed from the test site by the 19th March and no further testing will be completed until a new lease is authorised. A decommissioning plan for the cessation of current test site activity has been agreed with the licensing authority, details of which are available on The Marine Institute has committed to ongoing monitoring of the marine environment within the test site area to ensure no adverse impacts arise from the cessation of testing activities.

Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI)Marine Institute

Lisa Fitzpatrick / Sinéad Coyne Marine Institute
087 225 0871 / 087 947 7090 /

News Type:

Seapower News

Seapower Platform Surviving Storms

The Seapower Platform – 1:5 Scale Galway Bay Project

A small Irish engineering company Sea Power Ltd. launched their 1:5 scale Wave Energy Converter (WEC) test platform in open water sea trials in Galway Bay kindly funded and supported by SEAI, Ireland.

In parallel with this is an intensive Cost of Energy reduction programme funded by WES.

The platform itself has had an Irish patent granted for some time, but has now been recently patented internationally. The WEC has gone through many rigorous levels of numerical analyses and small scale tank testing. It is designed to harness the energy in deep water waves, and the company is committed to achieving this at the lowest LCOE possible, making it more competitive than other renewable, and non-renewable, energy sources. The recent experience at the open water test site and the work ongoing under WES programmes have given the engineers great encouragement to pursue this technology so that it will be ready for the energy market in the 2020s.

The Seapower Platform is a stable, hinged platform that is ideal for development of on-board power take off systems, and for accessibility during testing. It is a long machine with a low visual profile and further optimisation work will lead to machines with even lower visual profiles. Pontoon size optimisation is due in later stages to optimise the pontoon draughts, add curved features where hydrodynamically appropriate, all aimed to further lower CapEx levels.

The medium scale (1:5) Seapower Platform was towed from Foynes Port in Limerick where it was constructed last year, to Galway Harbour where a Cork-based marine operations company Atlantic Towage Ltd. hooked up with and installed the WEC and her mooring system into the Smartbay test site. This operation took place at the end of October 2016 and the WEC has been operating successfully on site since then, surviving multiple storms on the site.  The operation also demonstrated a winter deployment and his accomplished most of its objectives for Phase 1.

1:5 Scale Galway Bay Project Objectives

  • Demonstrate in-house design possibility for a patented WEC; Irish designed, and Irish built.
  • Demonstration of Sea Power’s ability to plan, resource and execute a commercial scale Seapower Platform project.
  • Demonstration of the largest Seapower Platform unit ever developed to date
  • Long term operation and survivability extending over harsh winter months.
  • Demonstrate ease of deployment in any season (deployed in early winter)
  • Demonstration of a 1:5 scale direct gear driven PTO that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy for Phase 2
  • Demonstrate that the production of utility-compliant electricity or production of desalinated freshwater for a sustained period is possible -based on average mechanical power measurements.
  • Verification of the power curve of this device against the measured power curve from prior model scale tank tests.
  • Creation and publication of the platform’s power matrix to IEC standards.
  • Confirmation of the feasibility of the deployment, operation and recovery of the Seapower Platform
  • Recording of the environmental interactions of the Project in order to demonstrate and verify that it has minimal impact on the Smartbay site

For Phase 1 of the 1:5 scale project, power is measured directly by common mechanical means – i.e. an on-board rectilinear dynamometer. The mechanical power is measured across a wide range of sea states which enables the power curve to be plotted. In the safe and small scale environment of the wave tank, these mean wave periods typically range between 1 and 2 seconds. For the medium scale device deployed at Galway bay, these correspond to a range between 2.25 seconds and 4.5 seconds for Galway Bay, and for full scale systems these correspond to approximately 5 and 10 second mean periods which typically occur off the coast of Mayo. Currently this 1:5 scale WEC is built from cuboid steel pontoons which are supported by steel beams or steel lattice chassis structure.

Sea Power Ltd. are involved in a material study with ARUP and Cruz Atcheson to determine if there is any economic advantage in using novel concrete based materials.

Since the launch date, the WEC has already demonstrated survival in extreme conditions. For this 1:5 scale of device, it has already survived maximum instantaneous wave heights of 4.1 metres (Hs=2.05m at the test site). For an equivalent full scale Seapower Platform, this is survival in Hs=10.25m conditions – or approximately 20.5m instantaneous wave height. Wave conditions are monitored and then recorded to Seapower’s SCADA system from the Marine Institutes’ digital ocean portal, and accurate sea state predictions are also available which has proved to be invaluable.

Relative angular motion and high torque is developed around the hinge and the machine tends to pitch and heave in this degree of freedom in a wide range of sea states. This hinge on the WEC suits the integration of a rotary PTO which is under development with a number of Sea power’s partners including Limerick Wave Ltd. and Romax Technologies. This realistic PTO will be the subject of works for Phase 2 of the 1:5 scale project. The WEC has a good power curve that has been established by third party in tank testing environments.

The Seapower Platforms can be easily towed, hooked up to mooring systems, or transported back to harbours or small piers. Seapower hope to remain testing at the site for a 12 month continuous period with the installation of the rotary PTO mid-way in between the deployment duration.

Throughout the testing period in Galway Bay, a number of on-board parameters are being continuously measured. These are: tension loads in the front mooring lines, bow panel pressures due to wave slapping and wave slamming events, multi-axis hinge load in both hinge pins, accelerations of each body, and mechanical power in the representative PTO system. The WEC also has a number of condition monitoring systems in place – including temperature monitoring of the control system and brake, water ingress sensors, and GPS location monitor. The engineers at Seapower also monitor their device using a remote camera located on the mast. So far, all mechanical, electrical and control systems are performing exactly as expected and the data is streaming from the on-board DAQ at a very high rate. Post processing of this data is ongoing and the Marine Institute and MaREI are also assisting in this regard.

The onboard parameters being measured, directly inform future structural and mechanical design calculations for optimised full scale platforms. For example, mooring loads in survival conditions at the medium scale can be scaled up to full scale loads. These loads are the main driver for cost. This means that design loads at full scale determine the size of mooring components and hence determine the capital cost involved. Once these costs are established, they are inputted into a detailed LCOE calculation to determine the feasibility of the platform as a method of converting ocean energy.

Marine activities on the Galway Bay site are supported in a practical way with the help of staff at Smartbay and the Marine Institute in Galway and SEAI.  SmartBay offers multidisciplinary expertise to wave energy developers and Sea Power Ltd have benefited tremendously from this. The Smartbay site is pre-fitted with weather, wave measuring equipment, sub-sea data and power cables and a dedicated radio telemetry which facilitates data capture back to shore.

The Seapower Platform has demonstrated survival during storms Barbara and Doris, and we expect it to survive for the rest of the deployment period.

[mixcloud width=100% height=60 hide_cover=1 mini=1 hide_artwork=1 autoplay=1]

Seapower News

Tow Out & Deployment – New Photos

 Tow & Deployment to Galway Bay

Following a successful mooring installation at the Smartbay site, Atlantic Towage Ltd. ( successfully towed out the WEC from Foynes Harbour, around loop head, and into Galway Bay overnight.

Tow Path
Tow Path
1:4 Scale Tow Out
1:4 Scale Tow Out

The on-board camera, and 3g Connection, provided visual monitoring before it got dark:

On board camera
On board camera

During the tow and deployment, Sea Power Ltd.  continuously monitored the WEC’s SCADA system, designed and commissioned by FAL Ltd:

SCADA Screenshot - Developed by Sea Power Ltd. and FAL Ltd.
SCADA Screenshot – Developed by Sea Power Ltd. and FAL Ltd.

Realtime ocean weather conditions around the tow and deployment were also provided by:

During tow out, local conditions were rough around loop head and through the Aran Islands but the WEC handled them easily and the tow out went extremely well, travelling at an average speed of 4knots. This demonstrated that the Seapower Platform can be easily towed out to any site.

Thanks to Co. Mayo based OSCS Ltd. for carrying out Risk Assessments and Methodology and overseeing and advising on all Seapower’s marine operations.

The WEC was hooked up to the set of pre-deployed moorings lines, and datalogging has commenced (Power, Mooring Loads, Hinge Loads, PTO loads, accelerations, GPS position, Hull panel pressures)

Successfully Deployed at Smartbay 1:4 Scale Test Site
Successfully Deployed at Smartbay 1:4 Scale Test Site

Seapower News

Seapower Platform International Patents

Seapower’s Intellectual Property

As well as a patent granted for Ireland and Australia, Sea Power Ltd. is pleased to announce that the patent for our attenuator WEC is now granted for the USA. This was issued on the 30/08/2016.

Patent Extract (iv)
Patent Extract (iv)







We are also pleased to announce that both the logo,  and the name the Seapower Platform have been trademarked successfully.

Blue Seapower Logo