• Swansea-based wave energy tech company unveil plan to diversify into booming offshore
    wind sector.
  • Two new devices seek to provide solutions to energy generation challenges in deep-sea
    locations.

Wave energy technology developer Marine Power Systems (MPS) will today reveal its plans for expansion into the floating offshore wind sector with two devices that offer a viable solution to wind energy generation in deep water locations. Established over 10 years ago, MPS is in the final stages of development for its wave energy device, WaveSub – a device designed to addresses the challenges of wave energy generation at sea.

WaveSub’s stability in deep ocean water prompted MPS to explore its suitability for use as a platform for wind turbines, particularly in locations where wind speeds are high but water depths make a fixed base turbine too costly to install. Initial tests revealed that WaveSub offered a strong, stable platform on which a turbine could be installed, enabling the simultaneous capture of wave and wind energy from the ocean – essentially the WaveSub can be adapted to be a floating wind turbine and wave energy device in one.

Following further R&D, MPS has developed two new devices; DualSub that captures both wave and wind energy, and WindSub that captures wind energy only. These devices have successfully completed prototype stability tests, detailed computational simulation and cost of energy modelling. Positive results have led MPS to accelerate the development of WindSub and DualSub to a scaled up prototype to bring them to the point of market readiness.

Says Dr Graham Foster, Chief Technology Officer at Marine Power Systems: “As we moved into the final stages of development for our WaveSub wave energy generation device, it became apparent that many of its features make it well suited to the needs of the floating offshore wind sector. With extensive testing and computational modelling complete, we’re confident that our wind energy offerings, DualSub and WindSub can offer a market leading solution to the challenges of wind energy generation in deep water. This is a hugely exciting time for MPS and we look forward to further developing our offshore wind technologies alongside our WaveSub device during 2019.”

The announcement of MPS’s plan to expand into the offshore wind sector follows news that the UK’s offshore wind sector increased its output by 28% in 2018, and details of a Government-backed Offshore Wind Deal which commits to providing 30% of the UK’s electricity from offshore wind by 2030.

The UK currently generates 8% of its electricity from offshore wind. Around 70% of offshore windfarms are located along the east coast of the UK where oceans are shallower and fixed base turbines are easily installed. DualSub and WindSub will undoubtedly open new areas of coastline in the UK where wind speeds are higher but water depth is greater and the installation of fixed base wind turbines are deemed prohibitively expensive.

Having been successfully tested at 1:4 scale, and now under development at full scale, MPS’s WaveSub device has been financed through a mixture of public and private investment including WEFO (European Regional Development Funds) and Innovate UK. MPS will reveal details on DualSub and WindSub at the Marine Energy Wales Conference which takes place on 4th April 2019.