A W's $4m EU deal

A consortium led by Finnish wave-power technologist AW-Energy has signed a Û3m ($4.4m) agreement with the EU to move its WaveRoller device towards commercialisation.

BRISTOL: Under the demonstration deal, AW-Energy aims to build and deploy a grid-connected 300- kilowatt WaveRoller unit in waters off Peniche, Portugal, for a year-long technology-proving programme.

Among the organisations making up the consortium are industrial heavyweights Bosch Rexroth and ABB, renewable-energy operator Ene ó lica, and Portuguese wave-energy promotion body the Wave Energy Centre.

"The experience of our consortium is a significant asset to the project, and we are thrilled about this real pan-European co-operation," says AW-Energy chief operating officer John Liljelund. "AW-Energy has been working hard the last three years with two sea-installed prototypes, tank testing and CFD [computational fluid dynamics] simulations. Now we have the site, grid connection permission, installation licence and the technology ready for the demonstration phase."

Two WaveRoller prototypes have been deployed off Peniche to date. Data collected during the test period is being used to verify the CFD simulations and to help design the next unit, as well as to monitor sediment movements and fouling phenomenon in its surroundings.

WaveRoller captures kinetic energy from the swell developed at the sea bottom, using a bottom-mounted moving wing. In surface waves, water particles roll in a circular motion and the energy is squeezed as the waves come into the shore. Below the surface swell, at a depth half of the length of the swell, the circular rolling motion becomes more elliptical, and at the sea bottom the water particles rock back and forth up to the breaker line.

The captured energy is converted to electricity using traditional technologies.