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In their first half-scale wave energy prototype Mocean Energy have chosen the University of Edinburgh’s C-GEN technology to provide the power take-off (PTO).

Earlier this year the company secured £3.3 million from Wave Energy Scotland (WES) to develop and build a scale prototype of their Blue Horizon wave machine which will be used in Orkney next year.

C-GEN is a novel direct-drive generator developed by The University of Edinburgh which is highly efficient over a wide range of wave conditions. The university is also engaged with WES in a separate project to develop and demonstrate C-GEN technology. 

The two teams will now build a test rig which will be trialled at a specialist facility in Rosyth, where they can put the C-GEN PTO through performance and acceptance testing using representative wave data. The half-scale prototype will be manufactured in Scotland later this year and will have the same PTO in it.

Cameron McNatt

Mocean Energy Managing Director Cameron McNatt said : “To date our focus has been on the hydrodynamic and mechanical performance of Blue Horizon.

“This is a hinged raft with a unique geometry which flexes in two dimensions using a relatively slow-moving single hinge. C-GEN is a good match for us because it delivers high efficiencies in the right range of speeds. 

“Our test programme will ensure we optimise the performance of both technologies to extract the maximum mechanical energy from our operational machine.”

The news has been welcomed by Professor Markus Mueller from the University of Edinburgh who said : “The integration of the C-GEN generator into Mocean’s wave energy device is an exciting development, pushing forward the benefits of the modular direct drive generator from marine test rig to marine environment operation.

“This programme will allow us to industrialise the design and manufacture of C-GEN for marine renewable applications and demonstrate C-GEN in a real environment, at a relevant scale and under realistic load profiles,” Dr Mueller concludes.

Tim Hurst, Managing Director at Wave Energy Scotland said:“Wave Energy Scotland appreciate Mocean Energy’s progress within our Novel Wave Energy Converter programme. 

“Their project will be the first use of C-GEN technology in a real wave energy converter and reflects the success of the WES program at uniting technology development programs to produce a complete working system.

“The cooperation between Mocean Energy and University of Edinburgh illustrates the benefits to the sector of greater collaboration and partnership. This is a significant milestone for the Mocean Energy team and prepares the way for the build of the device itself and subsequent deployment and testing at sea in 2020.”