Milestone for Oyster upgrade
The 23-tonne cylinder module was refitted to the 800 kilowatt (kW) test machine – located at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney – in an operation which took just over two days.
“This is an important waymark on our route to reliable electricity generation,” said company chief executive officer Martin McAdam.
“This new module incorporates a number of significant upgrades to the one it replaces – including new check valves, hoses and instrumentation. We have worked closely with suppliers Hunger Hydraulik and Calder Engineering to make it robust enough to withstand the extreme forces it will experience during operation.
“The Oyster concept clearly works – it is the only wave machine to have operated continuously for three winters, and has generated multiple megawatt hours of electrical power.
“Oyster can withstand 100 per cent of all sea states, and the goal now is to generate electricity reliably. This is a challenge for the whole industry, and it is only through full-scale testing can we find out what works, what doesn’t and the evolutionary changes we need to make."
He added: “This experience is bearing fruit. Last year it took us a week to replace a cylinder and this time we worked with our local supplier Leask Marine to do the job in less than half the time.
“We’re now over half way through this summer’s product improvement programme and are on still well on track for power production later in the year."
Aquamarine Power’s Oyster wave power technology captures energy from near-shore waves and converts it into clean sustainable electricity.
In simple terms, Oyster is a wave-powered pump which pushes high pressure water to drive a conventional onshore hydro-electric turbine.