30 March 2016

WaveRoller PTO passes 6 months inspection with flying colours

After 6 months of successful operation with impressive results, the wave machine at the WaveRoller Test Centre in Järvenpää was shut down in mid-February for the first scheduled inspection. The unit is now ready for the next operating cycle.

Already during the first running period the world-unique testing facility has proved out to be an outstanding tool for understanding and further developing the Power Take Off –technology of WaveRoller® wave energy converters. One direct result of the ongoing development work is the distribution grid code compliance, which has been achieved at the test centre. This means that the quality of WaveRoller® electricity meets even the strictest utility criteria worldwide.

During the shutdown the Power Take Off system (PTO)of the First-Of-A-Kind (FOAK) 350 kW commercial WaveRoller®, soon to be deployed in Portugal, has been tuned-up to meet the local wave conditions.

AW-Energy is following a certified Technology Qualification (TQ) Program and this scheduled maintenance period was an important opportunity to disassemble and thoroughly inspect components and assess their performance during the rigorous testing cycles.

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In order to follow best practice and garner experience from other industries a reliability, availability, maintainability and serviceability (RAMS) study is carried out together with experts from VTT – Technical Research Centre of Finland. A part of the results from the inspections will be used to improve the reliability model and guide decisions.

The wave machine consists of a giant hydraulic piston that simulates the power of natural waves in the ocean. The full-scale wave machine can be programmed to run any stochastic wave state up to 2 MW. This unit is connected to the PTO of the WaveRoller®, a sophisticated hydraulic circuit running an electric generator. The PTOs of all WaveRollers® can thus be fine tuned on dry land to exactly match the local wave conditions where each WaveRoller® device is to be deployed.

“We’ve reached an important milestone in demonstrating our PTO technology and the team is looking forward to commence the final preparations to finish the PTO for the FOAK deployment. We now ensure that all parts work seamlessly together and fine-tune the control algorithm to meet the demands for operation in ocean conditions”, says Sami Pasanen, chief Engineer at the WaveRoller Test Centre in Järvenpää.