Ecosse Subsea Systems (ESS) has been awarded £2.5 million funding by Wave Energy Scotland (WES) to develop a magnetic gear system which could be pivotal in developing the next generation of wave energy convertors.
Development work will take place over the next two years in a collaborative project with Bathwick Electrical Design, Supply Design and Pure Marine, with additional sub-contract support provided by the University of Edinburgh and Applied Renewables Research.
The award is part of WES’s Power Take-Off programme which is aimed at producing reliable technology which will result in cost-effective wave energy generation.
WES, a subsidiary of Highlands and Islands Enterprise and funded by the Scottish Government, has so far awarded £25.4 million to 61 projects and worked with more than 170 organisations in the quest to overcome technical challenges facing the wave energy sector.
ESS will project manage from its Banchory headquarters the development and testing of its Power Electronic Controlled Magnet Gear (PECMAG) PTO system. The all-electric system is built from smaller modules with magnetic gearing that is being developed to suit a variety of wave energy converter devices and will feature both rotary and linear actuator systems.
Michael Cowie, ESS Technical Director, said: “We are delighted to be leading this collaborative project which features some of the brightest thinkers and innovators working in wave energy conversion. The WES funding means we can take this emerging technology on to the trials and testing stages in real-sea conditions and if all goes well, onwards to full commercialisation and market entry.
“We believe the efficiency and reliability advantages of our PTO system are critical to producing wave energy converters that are cost competitive with other renewable energy technologies. ESS has a strong track record of working on large scale renewable energy projects and we are looking forward to putting our technical and engineering capabilities to the test on this potentially game-changing project.”
Tim Hurst, Managing Director, WES said: “I am delighted to see Ecosse Subsea’s innovative project reach the final stages of the programme. This technology has the potential to deliver a high efficiency, high reliability PTO with unique survivability characteristics that can be applied to a wide variety wave device designs.”