Wave energy has a great potential as renewable source of electricity. Studies have demonstrated that significant percentage of world electricity could be produced by Wave Energy Converters (WECs). However electricity generation from waves still lacks of spreading because the combination of harsh environment and form of energy makes the technical development of cost effective WECs particularly difficult.
This Project introduces a new class of Polymeric WECs (PolyWECs), characterized by the employment of Electroactive Elastomer (EE) transducers. The goal is to introduce a radical change in the traditional architecture of WECs that usually includes three basic components: mechanical wave absorbers, a mechanical transmission and a power take-off system. Due to their nature, PolyWECs can be conceived in a way that such three components are integrated into a single deformable lightweight and low-cost polymeric element.
The aim of the Project is to develop new knowledge and new technologies aiming at:
- optimizing EE materials for WEC applications;
- conceiving new electro-mechanical configurations for PolyWECs;
- studying the fluid-EE interaction through numerical simulations;
- performing wave-tank tests of small scale prototypes;
- providing economic and environmental assessment.
WavEC Offshore Renewables is involved in all the workpackages of the project and is leader of the Assessment, exploitation and dissemination workpackage.
Funding: EU FP7
Coordinator WavEC: Miguel Vicente
Total Funding (Requested EU contribution): € 2 059 156
WavEC Funding: € 208 700
Duration: November 2012 – October 2016 (48 month)
Coordinator: Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari e di Perfezionamento Sant’Anna
Partners: Institutul de Chimie Macromoleculara Petru Poni; Selmar Srl; The University of Edinburgh and WavEC Offshore Renewables