“The WaveRoller concept is different from other wave energy projects as it can produce energy even when wave resources are not so good,” explains John Liljelund, CEO AW Energy. “The WaveRoller operates in the nearshore area, where it is protected from the worst weather conditions. Operation and maintenance is also easier close to the shore. The pilot plant has three independent units of 100 kW each, so it can be considered a wave farm.”
The WaveRoller is a submerged wave energy converter with a ‘panel’ that follows the back-and-forth movement of the water near the shore. The panel drives a generator to produce energy, which is transferred to shore by an undersea cable. The units are floated into position and submerged by flooding the ballast tanks. If any maintenance is needed, the tanks are simply refilled with air to bring the unit back to the surface.
Dry land tests of the units have already been performed in several wave states that simulate real-life undersea conditions. The results, which exceeded expectations, have attracted the interest of several utility companies and investment partners.
For the first grid connected pilot power plant, AW Energy have asked leading coating’s supplier Hempel to supply coatings to protect the units from corrosion and fouling while they are in operation. “The units are completely environmentally neutral and the project is taking place in a nature reserve, so it was important to us to choose a coatings supplier with a good environmental track record in marine coatings. This was one of the reasons we chose Hempel,” Liljelund explains.
Hempel will supply standard protective coatings for the units, as well as Hempasil X3 for the the moving panels. Hempasil X3 uses hydrogel technology to render steel ‘invisible’
“Wave power is still in the experimental stage,” says Anders Voldsgaard Clausen, Group WindPower Segment Manager at Hempel. “But we’ve looked closely at this particular project and think it looks very realistic. We were involved in the first wind energy projects 30 years ago, and we’re keen to support good initiatives in other areas of renewable energy.”
AW Energy has currently in ongoing negotiations with utility companies about wave energy farms in Europe and the Americas. If they are successful, WaveRoller could prove to be a significant addition to the world’s energy mix in the future.
For further information:
Anders Voldsgaard Clausen
Group Wind Power Segment Manager, Hempel A/S
Phone: +45 4527 346
Mobile: +45 2728 7895
The Hempel Group is a leader in the production and sale of protective coatings within the Marine, Container, Yacht, Decorative and Protective market segments. Hempel has factories, sales offices, research and development centres, and stock points strategically located around the world.
About AW Energy
AW Energy develops and delivers technology for converting ocean waves to electricity. The company has developed WaveRoller, a fully submerged wave energy converter for the nearshore area.
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The WaveRoller at the Port of Peniche in Portugal waiting for the installation of the panels.
The WaveRoller’s panels move the the waves, even in low wave conditions, to drive a generator. The energy is transported to shore via an undersea cable.