Irish company prepares to test wave energy device in Galway Bay
10 October 2016
Irish company, Sea Power, is preparing to test its prototype wave energy device at the Galway Bay marine and renewable energy test site, after eight years of development.
Following successful completion of testing at small scale, the company is now progressing to quarter scale testing in open sea conditions for the first time.
The Sea Power device will make the short journey from Foynes in Limerick, where it was built, to the Galway Bay test site. Wave energy devices, such as Sea Power, will ultimately harness the extraordinary power of the waves off Ireland’s coast, to generate electricity.
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 site at Galway Bay is Ireland’s consented site for testing wave energy converters at quarter scale and has been operating for the last ten years.
“It’s very encouraging to see innovative Irish technologies progress through the country’s testing facilities. Ocean energy is an emerging sector for Ireland, offering huge potential in job creation and energy security. With some of the most energy rich ocean resources in the world, located off our West coast, Ireland has the potential to become a market leader in this sector. Developing our sustainable energy resources allows us to move away from our reliance on imported fossil fuels, which cost our economy billions of euro a year,” said SEAI chief executive Jim Gannon.
Sea Power and SmartBay Ireland
Sea Power will work with SmartBay Ireland – a not-for-profit company that manages the national marine test facility in Galway Bay – in bring the device to its next stage of development.
SmartBay Ireland was established to support the management of the national marine test facility in Galway Bay and to promote and develop opportunities for the test site so that researchers and industry can utilise this unique marine facility. The site provides users with a pathway towards commercialisation by providing the opportunity to test devices and sensors in a real-marine world environment.
The Sea Power device has successfully completed a third-party design verification process. Device testing and all associated activities will be conducted in compliance with SmartBay Ireland’s ISO accredited health and safety, environmental and quality systems.
The installation of the moorings is expected to commence on or after October 12 with the quarter scale device being deployed the following week, weather permitting. The device measures 16.8m long x 4.5m wide. On the basis of the trial continuing successfully, the device will undergo performance testing at the site until March 2017.
You can see the evolution of the device; from tank testing, through small scale testing, to construction of the ¼ scale device in Foynes dockyard, and deployment in Foynes dock in the video below.
Ireland already boasts other successes in ocean energy technologies with Irish companies such as Ocean Energy having progressed to developing a full scale prototype of their OE Buoy device following successful testing in Galway Bay.
OpenHydro, based in Greenore, Co. Louth recently deployed two 2MW tidal turbines in Northern France. Since 2009, SEAI has supported over 80 early stage ocean energy projects through its prototype development fund to the value of €13 million.http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2016/10/10/wave-energy-device-galway-bay/http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Sea-Power.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Sea-Power-300x300.jpgNewsenergy,Galway,marine,SEAI,tidal,wave