Wave energy technology developer
  • Industry: CleanTech
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  • Location: Vantaa, Southern Finland
  • Size: 1-10 employees
  • Overview: The company develops and delivers technology for converting ocean waves to electricity. AW-Energy has developed WaveRoller - a fully submerged wave energy converter which utilizes wave surge phenomenon. This commonplace effect is observed in near-shore waters where the circular motion of water particles present in open sea waves changes into elliptical circulation due to more shallow bottom. Before the waves break, typically at the depth of 8-20 metres this elliptical motion is so flat that it is essentially a horizontal back-and-forth movement of water. WaveRoller device is a Panel anchored at its base on the sea bed. The back and forth movement of the wave surge moves the Panel, transferring the kinetic energy to piston pumps. The pumps create a great deal of pressure which is fed into a combination of hydraulic motor/generator, which in turn produces electricity. The nominal capacity of a single commercial-scale Panel ranges between 500 – 1000 kW, depending on the wave resources available on the site. WaveRoller has the ability to generate energy on a wide spectrum of wave states and is also well suited for locations where wave periods are long and the swell is strong. A series of WaveRoller devices can be combined into an array, thus resulting in a wave farm. Since the plant construction is modular with a high degree of independence between individual units, there is no natural upper limit to the number of WaveRoller units that can be used, therefore offering a high level of scalability and reliability. The electricity output from an individual Panel is connected to a hub/substation, thus making it easy to plug-in new units in separate project development stages, as the new capacity is added to the farm. Also, any potential underperformance or service & maintenance breaks of individual units have no impact on the remaining units, thus ensuring uninterrupted power output from the overall farm. The first prototypes were designed and patent applications were filed as early as in 1999, when Rauno Koivusaari, the original inventor co-operated with Fortum Research Centre during the conceptual phase. Since then the technology has evolved following numerous laboratory and wave-tank test trials and ongoing mathematical simulations. Open sea trails started in 2004 and included the Gulf of Finland, marine tests conducted in the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), Scotland, and an own testing site in Peniche, Portugal. The subsequent successes and encouraging test results led to continuous increase in the scale of the demonstration plant. The latest demonstration plant/farm consisting of three 100kW WaveRoller units (total nominal capacity of the farm 300kW) is to be deployed in Peniche, Portugal, during the second quarter of 2012. The final assembly is nearing completion in the first quarter of 2012 and will be awaiting suitable weather conditions for the deployment in the following months. The farm will be connected to national grid in Portugal. The company has already secured all the necessary permits and, additionally, holds a licence for 1MW grid connection.

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