Albatern’s dedicated team have been developing the WaveNET system since 2007.
WaveNET Series-6 arrays are now being tested at a commercial scale on real operating sites in Scottish waters for smaller scale off-grid power requirements.
Our staged development process involves the successful development and commercialisation of the WaveNET technology at each of 3 stages of physical device size and operating capacity.
The next development scale is Series-12, which will be double the size of Series-6 and will take individual SQUID generating unit capacity up from the 7.5kW of Series-6 to 75kW.
Finally stage 3 will see the advent of the grid-scale Series-24 WaveNET arrays. Double the size again, the individual generating capacity of Series-24 devices will increase a further tenfold to 750kW, making 100MW arrays possible by 2024.
WaveNET development scales
The WaveNET system has been rigorously tested at multiple scales throughout the development process.
Scale model tank testing results are used to verify the results of numerical simulations to provide a detailed understanding of the system loads and performance and drive the system design.
An ongoing program of open water testing scale models and full size prototypes has helped to refine and improve WaveNET’s ability to capture power from the waves throughout it’s development.
The most recent scale model tank testing took place in the unique new FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility, the world’s most sophisticated ocean simulator, at Edinburgh University in early 2014.
Albatern used the facility to test mooring designs, loadings and to asses the array’s behaviour in waves approaching from different directions at the same time, using 1:16 WaveNET models (and also had some fun with some highly unrealistic focused standing waves towards the end) – see the video below:
Numerical Modelling & Simulation
Since development of WaveNET began in 2007 we have developed significant in-house expertise in the analysis and simulation of large articulated multi-body offshore structures as well as complex networked drive chain and power conversion dynamics.
Finite element analysis (FEA) is used to verify and improve WaveNET throughout the design process. The images below show analysis of components from the 6 pumping modules which make up each WaveNET unit.
The hydrodynamic characteristics of WaveNET have been rigorously developed and tested using a variety of leading software packages including Ansys Aqua, Orcaflex and Flexcom, all of which are supplemented by in-house pre and post processing analysis codes.
Analysis of this type provides detailed information on structural loads, mooring design and overall system performance. Multi-parameter optimisation is used to enhance the design of the overall system.
Hydraulic System Modelling
Network, fail-safe and performance simulations using Matlab and Simulink are used to predict the dynamic response of the system in day-to day operation and in response to fault events.
Electrical System Modelling
Electrical and Control System design and modelling is performed using Matlab, Simulink and simulations to understand the coupled dynamics of the hydraulic-electrical transmission, control response and fault propagation through the DC collection grid.
Design, Build and Bench Testing
Albatern have consistently focussed on reducing the cost of energy throughout the design and build of the early production models.
Materials are careful chosen for their intended application with SG Iron castings used for their manufacturability and fatigue characteristics while GRP and marine grade plastics are used to provide long life and low cost buoyancy modules.