Wave for Energy: ISWEC device ready for production

ISWEC during installation

Wave for Energy, an Italian wave energy developer, has deployed ISWEC wave energy device off Pantelleria island, Italy.

ISWEC (Inertial Sea Wave Energy Converter) device has been successfully deployed on August 8, after several delays starting from March this year.

Tidal Energy Today spoke to Paolo Gherra, Project Manager at Wave for Energy, who said that the deployment operation went according to plan, and that all the equipment of ISWEC wave energy system is working fine.

Currently, the device is not producing electricity, and Wave for Energy plans to switch on the system next week, when stronger waves are expected at ISWEC deployment site.

The system has overall dimensions of 8 m width, 15 m length and 4.5 m height, a draft of 3.2 m that emerges 1.3 m from the sea surface.

ISWEC device is designed as a sealed hull that uses a gyroscopic system to exploit wave’s slopes to produce energy.

The system works when the hull oscillations caused by the movement of waves induce the rotation of the gyroscope platform. The rotation is then converted to electricity by the power generator.

The system is moored at a distance of about 800 m from the shore and at 35 m depth in the northwest side of Pantelleria island.

The energy produced from the device will be donated to the municipality of Pantelleria, following the approval to connect it to the island’s grid expected to be granted in October. Until then, the energy produced by ISWEC will be dissipated over an array of resistances.

Thanks to a design and industrial optimization process, the research team from the Politecnico di Torino and the team from Wave for Energy aim to bring the cost of producing electricity from waves with the ISWEC system in grid parity, the point at which the electricity produced from renewable sources achieves the same price of energy from traditional sources, in order to become a new  sustainable source of renewable energy, Wave for Energy’s press release reads.

Enea and IAMC from Capogranitola conducted activities related to the environmental impact assessment. Enea was responsible for the mapping of Posidonia before and after the installation, while CNR, with the research group coordinated by Giuseppa Buscaino, made the noise and environmental impact analysis of the device.

The development of the project was possible thanks to the funding obtained from the Piedmont and Sicily Regions, and to the collaboration with various other companies.

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Image: Wave for Energy

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