Pelamis Wave Power—World’s First Wave Farm
Can you imagine a clean, renewable energy source that is indigenous to planet earth and is affordable to its inhabitants? You may think of various things, such as wind or solar power, but the answer is wave power. Wave power captures the transport of energy by ocean surface waves to generate electricity. Pelamis Wave Power Ltd aims to do this with a unique machine, called Pelamis Wave Power Energy Converter, by generating electricity from offshore wave energy. The machine is the world’s first to be used in commercial wave farm projects.
The Pelamis Wave Energy Converter—Construction and Its Principle:
The Pelamis Wave Energy Converter is a semi-submerged, articulated structure composed of cylindrical sections linked by hinged joints. The wave-induced motion of these joints is resisted by hydraulic rams, which pump high-pressure fluid through hydraulic motors via smoothing accumulators. The hydraulic motors drive electrical generators to produce electricity. Power from all the joints is fed down a single umbilical cable to a junction on the sea bed. Several devices can be connected together and linked to shore through a single seabed cable.
It is basically an attenuating wave energy converter designed with survivability at the force. The Pelamis’ long, thin shape means it is almost invisible to hydrodynamic forces, namely inertia, drag, and slamming, which in large waves give rise to large loads. Its novel joint configuration is used to induce a tunable cross-coupled resonant response. Control of the restraint applied to the joints allows this resonant response to be “turned-up” in small seas where capture efficiency must be maximized or “turned-down” to limit loads and motions in survival conditions.
Pelamis Wave Power Ltd:
Pelamis Wave Power Ltd, formerly known as Ocean Power Delivery, was founded in 1998 by Dr. Richard Yemm, Dr. Dave Pizer, and Dr. Chris Retzler. The company has raised over £40 million ($1.5 million) of investment capital and has been successful in bringing Pelamis technology to the commercial marketplace. The company now employs over 70 people and has headquarters in Edinburgh. They operate in Portugal as well.
The company works with project developers, energy companies, and utilities seeking to harness wave energy in order to meet the global need for clean, sustainable, renewable power generation. It also undertakes to build and install wave power projects using Pelamis machines and to provide operations and maintenance services to support these projects.
The Project and Its Impact:
Pelamis Wave Power Ltd successfully commissioned the world’s first wave farm off the coast of Portugal in the summer of 2008. In doing so, the company proved for the first time that wave energy could be harnessed and transmitted to shore. They have also shown the ability to deploy machines rapidly and cost effectively, as well as being able to recover machines in a similar fashion, avoiding expensive and dangerous work at sea, and using standard work boats.
Pelamis Wave Power projects are subjected to Environmental Impact Assessments as part of project development activity in order to minimize and mitigate potential impacts of a project on the environment. Some of the areas of focus for the assessment are noise emissions and impact on coastal habitats, fish, birds, marine mammals, and other sea users.
Official Website: Here