Wärtsilä will support the development of the latest WaveRoller wave energy convertor, designed by Finnish company AW-Energy, with a series of sub-assemblies for a prototype.
The patented 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 in turn moves the steel 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 an ecological and an economical point of view.
Wärtsilä is supporting AW-Energy by providing technology and marine industry expertise to develop the WaveRoller into a commercially viable product. The project itself involves installing a single WaveRoller unit off the coast of Portugal, at Peniche, for a year.
“Harnessing the energy of the oceans is one answer to the world’s growing need of renewable energy resources. Emission-free wave energy has great commercial potential, and Wärtsilä is proud to work with AW-Energy in developing the WaveRoller. This innovative energy production technology also gives us an opportunity to offer our products and expertise to attractive new markets,” says Les Creak, General Manager, Wärtsilä Hydro & Industrial services.
The crucial components to be supplied by Wärtsilä include metallic bearing housings, composite 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. These units are the first that have been accepted by Lloyd’s Register for this purpose,” confirms Richard White, Project Manager for Global & Offshore Projects at Lloyd’s Register.
“Wärtsilä’s extensive experience in marine technology and power generation makes them an ideal partner for us. We also share the same interests – providing safe, affordable and more sustainable energy for customers around the world. WaveRoller is an energy solution of the future, and we are very happy to have Wärtsilä onboard to help us develop it further,” says Christopher Ridgewell, Chief Technology Officer at AW Energy Oy.