In August 2015, Marine Power Systems secured a £2.1m investment from the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government for the manufacturing and testing of the WaveSub prototype. Please click here for more information on European Funding
The Future of Energy
WAVE + POWER
Wave energy is a vast, untapped, global energy resource with high power density and excellent consistency.
Marine Power Systems Ltd. was founded specifically to develop the WaveSub wave energy converter – a second generation device with many advantages that properly address the challenges of extracting wave energy. The WaveSub has undergone scaled sea trials and tank testing, and recently a detailed project to model the cost of energy was completed. The conclusion was that the WaveSub has the potential to compete favourably with other renewable technologies and ultimately be competitive with conventional energy generation.
Why Wave Power?
Offering levels of consistency and density superior to that of wind and solar energy, the global wave energy resource can only be described as ‘vast’, with the potential, even if only partially exploited, to significantly reduce dependency on fossil fuels and carbon emissions.
WIND + SEA
When winds interact with the sea surface, friction between the air and the water first causes ripples, then chop, then waves.
The size of the waves depend on how strong the wind is, how long it has been blowing, and over what distance it has been blowing (the fetch).
Waves, unlike wind, do not disappear when the wind stops blowing. Instead, waves travel outwards from their source until they reach land where they become breaking waves.
The passage of swells through the open ocean is an incredibly efficient process – waves can travel hundreds, even thousands of miles with little loss of energy.
Global Energy Resource
The global wave energy resource can only be described as ‘vast’ with the potential, even if only partially exploited, to significantly reduce dependency on fossil fuels and carbon emissions.
Of particular interest, a practical resource of 50 tWh is available within the surrounding oceans of the UK. This is a significant proportion of the practical wave energy available globally and provides the United Kingdom with a unique opportunity to become a global leader in the development of wave energy technology.
The WaveSub has the potential to substantially reduce the costs associated with energy generation from waves. MPS has completed two Phases of the development of the technology and is currently undertaking Phase 3: Design, Build and Testing of a ¼ scale prototype.
1. Phase One
Phase 1 delivered a proof of principle prototype device that has undergone successful sea trials and energy generation tests at the world renowned National Renewable Energy Centre (NaREC) in Newcastle. The operating principles and ability to generate energy were proven by this prototype.
2. Phase Two
Phase 2 was a detailed desk engineering project to evaluate the cost of energy that the WaveSub is likely to deliver. This project comprised: an energy generation simulation exercise, design feasibility and costings of all parts of the WaveSub structure, installation and systems; and the costing of a maintenance plan for the WaveSub.
3. Phase Three
Phase 3 will see Marine Power Systems design, build and test a ¼ scale prototype at sea. This phase is underway, with the detailed design currently taking place. MPS have selected a number of industry expert project partners and subcontractors who are integral to delivering this phase.
The WaveSub is immensely efficient in power generation, construction and installation – creating the potential for a substantially lower energy cost than has been achieved by other renewable energy technologies.
The WaveSub directly addresses the fundamental challenges facing devices that try to exploit wave energy.
With a subsurface orbiting energy capture system, the WaveSub harnesses the entire energy cycle of the wave.
To combat the harsh environment, the WaveSub is depth adjustable allowing it to descend beneath storms when necessary.
TRANSPORTATION, OPERATION & MAINTENANCE
The floating surface configuration of the WaveSub makes it exceptionally easy to transport, install and maintain.
The WaveSub is cheap to manufacture due to its small size (for power produced), simple shape, and low structural loads.
The WaveSub has the potential to substantially reduce the costs associated with energy generation from waves. MPS has completed two Phases of the development of the technology and are currently carrying out Phase 3. Follow our latest updates for progress.
MPS and Swansea University were declared winners of the R&D category, in addition to eight other winners of the night.
Severn Subsea Technologies has made significant headway, since being awarded a contract to design elements of the control and electrical systems for WaveSub.