Seatricity says they’ll spend a week in July tank-testing a 3D printed model of the Oceanus 2 device in Ireland and the generators will have an estimated life cycle of 20 years.
The wave energy developer, based in Cornwall, UK, says their technology compares favorably with wind turbine power generation. As a standard offshore wind turbine will cost some 3 million GBPs per megawatt, the operating efficiency, or capacity factor, of their device is considerably more with their wave devices.
The Director of Seatricity, Bob Tillotson, is a mechanical and civil engineer and the inventor of the Seatricity ‘Oceanus.’ Over the course of the last four years, Tillotson has been working on the technology from prototype to the final engineered version undergoing extensive testing.
The scaled version of the 162kW Oceanus 2 device is set for testing at the Beaufort Wave basin within the Hydraulics and Marine Research Centre of the University College Cork. The trials are aimed at discovering optimization options used to compare and calibrate the full-scale Oceanus 2.
The 3D printed test models were created by 3D Kernow in Falmouth, and A&P Falmouth has been awarded a contract from Seatricity to build the full-scale wave energy device to be deployed at the offshore renewable test facility Wave Hub. A&P Falmouth will manufacture, fabricate, and assemble the wave energy Oceanus 2 from marine-grade aluminum.
Oceanus 2 is the first of some 60 devices planned as part of a 10MW, grid-connected array meant for deployment 10 miles off the coast of Hayle, Cornwall. 10MW represents enough output to power up to 10,000 homes.
It’s a 10-meter diameter floating ring, and cross tubes travel up and down with the waves to operate a pump used to pressurize sea water. That pump then drives a hydroelectric turbine to produce electricity.
The Oceanus 2 is tethered to blocks located on the seabed. Seatricity say the pumps and their pressurized sea water might also be used someday to produce fresh water using the reverse osmosis desalination process. They add that fresh water and electricity can be produced simultaneously.
The managing director of Seatricity, Peter Mitchell, says now that the first generation Oceanus 1 has completed extensive sea trials in Scotland, the Oceanus 2 represents the next step in the process.
“The technology is scalable so, once we complete our testing at Wave Hub this year, we hope to move quickly to a full array,” Mitchell says. “Wave Hub gives us the essential grid capacity to do that and we look forward to working with the team in Hayle and the extensive local supply chain in Cornwall.”
Do you know of any other projects using 3D printing to provide testing or proof of concept data for energy generating products? Let us know in the Oceanus 2 forum thread on 3DPB.com.