Wello reports on Penguin wave-energy converter

Date
09/17/2012

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Click image to enlarge: The220 tonne Wello Penguin vessel (excl. ballast), is approximately 30 meters in length, and held in place by three wires anchored to the seabed

Finnish wave-energy developer Wello, has released further test results of its Penguin wave-energy converter installed offshore from Orkney, Scotland, which has survived its first heavy storms during which the device was battered with over 12 m waves. The mooring system also appeared to work as designed. However, additional recovery cables caused some wear-and-tear to the ropes and will need to be removed in the future installations. The Wello Penguin is both organic and unique in design. It captures kinetic energy turning it into usable power while riding the waves. The220 tonne vessel (excl. ballast), approximately 30 meters in length, is held in place by three wires anchored to the seabed. The Penguin fleet may consist of 1 or more units, depending on the desired energy production capacity. Only about 2 meters of each unit is visible above the surface. Data covering the heavy weather conditions has now been analysed. This verifies that movements of the device are controlled and suitable for power production even in heavy sea conditions since the device self stabilises. This was expected, based on the 1:8 scale model sea tests where the device survived hundred-year-storm conditions three times. But obviously these conditions induce heavy loads to the mooring system and need to be taken into account. "We are pleased to have demonstrated that the Penguin survives these conditions," says Wello CEO Aki Luukkainen. "Early autumn conditions in Orkney have however shown that commissioning operations on sea are impractical in this phase when we need to access the device frequently. We have decided to continue power plant commissioning on berth and resume sea tests when that is completed", This completes the first series of test programmes. The device and the associated moorings will go through extensive inspections, which will then help to guide future deployment plans and future design activity. Throughout the first deployment of the Penguin device, Wello has been supported by a large group of Orkney based companies led and co-ordinated by Orcades Marine. Wello Chief Innovations Officer Heikki Paakkinen said " We really appreciate the support that we have had from Orkney. It has helped us greatly to get the most out of this first stage in our testing programme and we look forward to our next phases with similar levels of local support". Wello Penguin is a unique and patented construction to harvest ocean energy. It is based on industry standard components, including a generator typically used in wind turbines, to allow scalable manufacturing by virtually any shipyard using existing manufacturing processes. Wello

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