Tank tests for LAMWEC system

20 Feb 2017

The Costal, Ocean and Sediment Transport (COAST) laboratory at Plymouth university has conducted tank testing on Laminaria’s wave energy converter (WEC).

Funded under the OCEANERA-NET First Joint Call 2014, the
LAMWEC project seeks to develop and test a full-scale 200kW Laminaria WEC.

The project’s main focus is to prove the survivability of
a pre-commercial scale WEC which incorporates Laminaria’s innovative load
management mechanism and storm protection system.

Rémy Pascal, specialist engineer at Innosea oversaw the
tests: “The tank tests provided insight into the optimum size of the device in
regard to site specific wave conditions for overall performance. Most
crucially, we found that the device performance at the EMEC wave test site
could be significantly improved by using a larger device than the one initially
planned for before the tank tests.

He added: “Additionally, the tests show that clever use of
submergence will allow control of the power being captured regardless of the
significant wave height, which is a positive outcome concerning the
dimensioning of the power take-off (PTO).”

Leading the design simulations work package for LAMWEC,
Innosea tested a 1/16 scale model at COAST to explore the load regimes that the
device will experience when it is tested at full-scale at the European Marine Energy
Centre (EMEC) in 2017.

Steven Nauwelaerts, Laminaria’s CEO, believes that the
results of the tank tests have provided confidence in the concept of the
survival mechanism – a key element of the LAMWEC design.

He concluded: “The irregular wave tests proved that the
concepts for the two survival mechanisms work: both the overdrive mechanism and
the submergence efficiently managed to keep the loads in the mooring lines
below a programmable threshold. The results from these tests will be invaluable
to the other work packages in the LAMWEC project, informing the development of
the anchor system, moorings, storm protection system, and PTO.”

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