Protean restarts wave energy device trials

WEC deployment off Fremantle, WA (Photo: Protean Wave Energy)

Protean Wave Energy has started the second phase of pre-commercial ocean testing of its wave energy device off Western Australia.

The device has been deployed in 10 meters water depth, 3km off the coast of Fremantle.

The test WEC is fitted with a suite of electronic monitoring equipment that transmits motion and energy generation data through a 4G data link to the cloud for analysis at Protean’s head office, the Australian wave energy developer informed.

The deployment follows the series of dry and wet tank tests Protean conducted over the past month with Neptune Marine Services, with whom it has signed a services agreement under which Neptune is to provide technical and installation services in support of the testing program.

The tests and the initial deployment at Bunbury Port resulted in a number of refinements and optimizations on Protean WECs, the company said.

Additional data monitoring equipment was also added to facilitate comparisons to be made against the recently completed numerical model, developed by international wave energy consultants WavEC Offshore Renewables.

Comparisons from the offshore trials to numerical model results are expected to aid the development of a tool to facilitate scaling and design of WEC pods for commercial deployment, according to Protean.

Steve Rogers, Managing Director and CEO of Protean, said: “We have successfully recommenced our offshore testing program and I am pleased to say we have been gathering a significant amount of data to compare with our numerical model and determine the energy capacity of the WECs. The results will add considerable value in the detail design effort.”

Protean also informed that the process of analyzing the operating and energy generation capability data, gathered from previous WEC deployment, has begun, with final conclusions expected to be drawn within the coming two to three months.

In parallel, detail design and manufacturing planning is set to start, drawing on lessons learned from this test program and the recently completed design review.

The target for completion of a commercial prototype WEC unit is the first quarter of 2017 with a plan to be ready for a commercial wave energy pod trial in the second quarter, according to Protean.

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