Wärtsilä Provides Marine Technology to New Wave Energy Project
Wärtsilä is supporting AW-Energy by providing technology and marine industry expertise to develop the WaveRoller into a commercially viable product. The project involves installing a single wave energy unit off the coast of Portugal, at Peniche, for a year.
The WaveRoller is a device that harnesses the energy of ocean waves and turns it into electricity. It consists of a submerged steel panel, which is located near an ocean shore. As waves move back and forth, the mass of water moves the panel. Then hydraulic piston pumps transfer fluid inside a closed circuit into a hydraulic motor that drives an electricity generator, creating an energy output between 500 and 1,000 kW per panel, depending on the intensity of the waves. The device needs no fuel, which makes it attractive from both environmentally and economically.
“Harnessing the energy of the oceans is one answer to the world’s growing need of renewable energy resources,” said Les Creak, general manager of Wärtsilä Hydro & Industrial services.
The components to be supplied by Wärtsilä include metallic bearing housings, steel bearings, lip seals and hydraulic couplings. Wärtsilä will also provide the necessary installation services for the sub-assemblies. In addition to these products and services, Wärtsilä can also offer its experience and knowhow in marine solutions, including wave and tidal power, to support the product development of the WaveRoller; with both AW Energy directly and its project partners, such as Lloyds Register.
“We have carried out a review of the bearing unit design intended for the WaveRoller and inspected the manufacturing of these units,” said Richard White, Project Manager for Global & Offshore Projects at Lloyd’s Register. “These units are the first that have been accepted by Lloyd’s Register for this purpose.”
“Wärtsilä’s extensive experience in marine technology and power generation makes them an ideal partner for us,” said Christopher Ridgewell, Chief Technology Officer at AW Energy Oy. “We also share the same interests—providing safe, affordable and more sustainable energy for customers around the world.”