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Control system to move forward wave energy developments in Sweden

Swedish system will show the benefits of power smoothing in ocean harvesting technology

A control system has been specially for the Ocean Harvester protoype
Prevas has developed a control system for the Ocean Harvester prototype wave energy plant in Sweden

A Swedish marine plant is set to trial a control system that will help improve energy efficiency of wave power technology. The control and measurement system aims to show the benefit of power smoothing energy extracted from the ocean.

The system, supplied by Swedish electronics firm Prevas, is being used for the Ocean Harvester prototype wave energy plant in Sweden.

The Ocean Harvester, which firm Ocean Harvesting Technologies (OHT) AB is developing, is a point absorber based on a patented mechanical power takeoff (transmission) using a counterweight for power smoothing.

CHT said the power takeoff improves the energy capture, efficiency and utilisation rate in wave power systems. Around 65 per cent utilisation can be achieved in good wave conditions with only 5 per cent spill of energy, the company claims.

Mikael Sidenmark, chief executive officer and founder of OHT, said OHT’s patent-pending energy smoothing technology is the key to achieving a high degree of efficiency and even loading in the system throughout all the steps involved in transforming ocean waves into electricity.

He said: “Power smoothing is decisive in terms of achieving cost-efficient energy extraction from wave power, and we can now demonstrate this in a test rig using the control and measurement system supplied by Prevas.

The Prevas system is currently being fully assessed using simulated wave situations.

Sidenmark said: “It will be exciting to see how the system works in the next step when we test a prototype off the southeast coast of Norway.”

The Ocean Harvester prototype sea trial test will be conducted in partnership with Fobox AS, a company in the Fred Olsen group. Tests will start in August at Fred Olsen’s wave power test facilities in Risör on the southeast coast of Norway.