Monitoring and Technology
The Monitoring and Technology area at WavEC includes a diversified range of activities, which has been extended in latest years, in line with WavEC itself. The group of engineers that work in this area deals with two main areas: following closely the development of the different marine energy technologies worldwide and acting with the developers on the field to find technical solutions to the problems faced at these emerging technologies. Furthermore, this area also comprises the fields of resource assessment and experimental modelling at laboratory scale.
Initially, the focus of the WavEC has been on Wave Energy Technologies, but more recently our interest has been broadened to all marine energy technologies including floating offshore wind, tidal energy, salinity and temperature gradients and macroalgae. The Wave Energy technologies offered WavEC’s team a much better knowledge of the ocean environment and the specific difficulties of operating energy devices in these conditions, but we rely on an extended network of partners and external consultants for specific technological issues.
WavEC has a long experience in wave energy technology at R&D level, but also, and depending on the cases, on conceptual, design, construction, deployment and operational phases. The latter is related in particular to the 400 kW Pico plant in the Azores (since 2004), a unique non-commercial demonstration wave energy plant at the Pico Island in Azores owned and operated by WavEC (www.pico-owc.net). Significant experience in technology and monitoring issues has also been gathered through the involvement prototype testing of the AWS (2004), Pelamis (2007), Waveroller (since 2012) wave energy prototypes and the WindFloat (since 2012) floating wind turbine off the coast of Portugal. The team has also been taking part in numerous projects in Europe either through European Funded Projects or collaboration with companies.
Strategic Studies of Technologies, Resource Assessment and Site selection
Due to its activity in the latest years in marine renewable at international level, WavEC is able to provide state of the art information about the technology and provide strategic information to companies interested in this emerging market. Since 2003 WavEC has been providing this type of work both to investors, developers and governmental bodies.
The performance monitoring of marine renewable energy systems is one of the most important activities for its technological development. Through our experience in the Pico, AWS and Waveroller plants, WavEC has gained sensitiveness to the problems related with the evaluation of a device performance, seen either from the developers or the investors point of view. These strategic studies can also include the resource assessment of any of the ocean Energy sources and site selection studies to help tecnology devellopers direct their investments.
Component development and testing
One of the characteristics of marine renewable energy devices is the fact that many specific components have not performed satisfactorily either on its performance, cost or durability. Our team’s expertise with the offshore environment can help to find, specify or produce these innovative components.
The monitoring of underwater components is one of the services in which more development is being made in latestyears. The ROV services of WavEC (which gather the technology and environmental teams) comprise the observation of underwater structures, including not only the energy converters themselves but also other underwater componentssuchas moorings and submarine cables. WavEC has also been developing other services to the ROV capabilities, such as the structural monitoring of structures and the measurement of electromagnetic fields produced by underwater cables.
ROV - Remotly Operated Vehicle
In the summer of 2012 WavEC acquired an observational class ROV, the Seabotix LBV 200-4. The ROV has the ability to operate in virtually any marine environment and retrieve images in depths down to 200m. It has two cameras onboard, a low light camera with a tilt function that is used for navigation and an HD camera that can capture images up to 1080p. Additionally a one function grabber and a laser scaling system have been installed allowing for simple underwater operations (grab samples, cut cables etc) and to scale the images obtained respectively. This allows for a broader range of ROV applications which include:
Visual/structural inspections (ie. WEC devices, cables, moorings)
Biological surveys (ie. colonization patterns, sample collection, animal density)
Simple interventions at depthRetrieval of moored instruments
Three WavEC staff completed the Seabotix factory training program in San Diego, USA and also underwent the MTS ROV course levels 1 and 2.
DEMOWFLOAT (With environmental team)
KIC 1 (With environmental team)
WAVEPORT (With environmental team)