Pico Wave Plant
Pico OWC was built as the European Wave Energy Pilot Plant, co-funded by the EC, in order to demonstrate the technical viability of wave energy in a small Island grid. Since 2004, the plant is operated by WavEC. It is the only infra-structure open for training, R&D, innovation and demonstration.
This plant consists of a hollow reinforced concrete structure – pneumatic chamber – above the water free surface that communicates with the sea and the incident waves by a submerged opening in its front wall, and with the atmosphere by a fibre duct with an air turbine.
The incident waves cause vertical oscillation of the water column inside the chamber, which in turn causes alternate air flow to and from the atmosphere, driving the turbine and the generator attached to it. The electricity is fed into the local grid of EDA (Regional Utility) at the Cachorro grid connection point. An important factor in designing this kind of plants is the dimensions of the pneumatic chamber, in order to provide resonance with the incident sea state.