Albatern are delighted to announce that they have received an award from the WATERS2 programme to support deployment of their first WaveNET demonstrator arrays consisting of up to six 7.5kW wave energy converter modules.
“This is great news for Albatern and all of our team. It really demonstrates Scottish commitment to foster and encourage home grown innovation” said John Findlay, Albatern’s Chief Executive Officer.
The grant award of £617,000 goes a significant way towards total project costs of £1.3m, and provides tangible recognition of Albatern’s distinctive technology, and the achievements of the young and dynamic engineering team.
Chief Technology Officer David Findlay explains “Securing this grant is an important landmark for the company and we are pleased that the due diligence carried out validates both our technology and approach. The team has worked extremely hard to understand and overcome the various technical challenges of this unique and exciting project and it will be good to see the technology working in real sea conditions.”
Albatern are developing their WaveNET wave energy conversion system based around a series of smaller interconnected units called Squids. This distinctive approach reduces the operational challenges of handling and deploying very large structures while allowing the device to be tailored to the requirements of a particular site. It results in a product that is better suited to mass manufacturing, benefits from early economies of scale and is a realistic export proposition. By exploiting previously unrecognised kinetic phenomena, the WaveNET is able to demonstrate non-linear yield increases when compared with traditional array based approaches.
Albatern’s unitsare currently rated at 7.5kW and, although lower than others have used, it has allowed the development of the technology at a significantly lower cost. As David Campbell the Chief Financial Officer explains “as well as reducing the amount of development capital that is required to get the prototypes into the water, the smaller devices are being developed with markets in aquaculture and off grid communities in mind. The research that we have carried out shows that these are valuable, and global markets. Some of the next steps involve identifying and developing pilot projects in aquaculture and remoter communities to prove that we can produce useful power for these markets, and the wave energy converters can be handled by boats and equipment already available in these areas.”
Albatern has ambitions beyond smaller devices. The current project will provide a solid foundation for scaling modules up to 750kW and WaveNET arrays in excess of 10MW, capable of meeting the requirements of grid scale project developers. Albatern is currently initiating the partner relationships to deliver these larger projects successfully.