Video: Penguin getting ready for plunge at EMEC

Penuguin WEC (Photo: Wello)

Finnish wave energy developer Wello is preparing for the deployment of its Penguin wave energy converter at EMEC set to take place in early 2017.

The device will be towed to Orkney in Scotland from Falmouth docks in Cornwall where the device underwent modifications conducted by the A&P Group.

The main changes are related to the mooring design, which has been simplified so the components and dimensions are better adapted to prevailing conditions, the company said in a video update.

As a result, the installation process is more straightforward, making the deployment possible even in the winter season, according to Wello.

Some changes have also been made to the rotator and ballasting of the Penguin to improve power output in a wider range of wave conditions.

The deployment will take place as part Clean Energy from Ocean Waves (CEFOW) project. Launched in 2015, the CEFOW project received funding of €17 million from the EU’s Horizon 2020 program. The CEFOW research consortium is coordinated by Fortum, a major European utility company, and also a minor shareholder in Wello.

To remind, the original location for the installation of Wello converter as part of CEFOW project has been changed from Wave Hub to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), due to favorable infrastructure for winter deployments available at EMEC.

New Penguins on the horizon

As of early 2017, the construction on a new Penguin device will begin, as confirmed earlier by Wello’s CEO, Heikki Paakkinen. The new device will boast improvements to the shape and construction of the hull.

Also, with the improvements to the mass and dimension proportions of the rotator and ballasting, the power output is calculated to increase significantly, according to Wello.

Furthermore, the generator control system, which plays a significant role in power generation, has been further improved.

Once built, the device will be deployed at EMEC in spring 2018, while the third device will be built for spring 2019, according to Paakkinen.

“What the control system does is try to adapt to irregular waves. Normally, if we had sinusoidal waves, the rotator would turn with the device, so you wouldn’t need a complicated control system. But what happens is that the device also moves irregularly with the waves and you try to follow this without using power. What the control system does is maximize the power, and adapt exactly to how it moves,” said Ali Pekcan, Systems Engineer at Wello.

Wello’s Penguin device uses its asymmetric shape to convert the waves to electricity with continuous rotational movement.

In a floating element, motion energy is directly captured by a generator, resulting in conversion from movement to electricity without hydraulics, joints or gears.

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