wave energy

Wave global energy potential

The theoretical, global energy potential of wave energy is higher than the global electricity consumption, however there are not yet any commercial devices to exploit this resource. Cost reduction and reliability are key challenges for the wave energy sector, with the Power-Take Off (PTO) a major cost element of a typical Wave Energy Converter (WEC).The IMAGINE project will therefore develop and demonstrate an innovative PTO concept for wave energy applications. The groundbreaking Electro-Mechanical Generator (EMG) is based on UMBRA Group’s advanced aerospace engineering.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 764066

The Project

Imagine project detail

Innovative Method for Affordable Generation IN ocean Energy

IMAGINE “Innovative Method for Affordable Generation IN ocean Energy” is a European collaborative project funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

The theoretical, global energy potential of wave energy is higher than the global electricity consumption, however there are not yet any commercial devices to exploit this resource. Cost reduction and reliability are key challenges for the wave energy sector, with the Power-Take Off (PTO) a major cost element of a typical Wave Energy Converter (WEC).

The IMAGINE project will therefore develop and demonstrate an innovative PTO concept for wave energy applications. The groundbreaking Electro-Mechanical Generator (EMG) is based on UMBRAGROUP’S advanced aerospace engineering. Read more about the technology.

Throughout the IMAGINE project, needs and solutions will be identified, and the technology developed. This will include HardWare-In-the-Loop (HWIL) testing, plus techno-economic assessment. Read more about the project and constituent work packages.

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Consortium meeting Brussels

Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund

INORE symposium October 22-27

Wave Energy

Globally, the theoretical wave power resource is extremely large, with estimates around 18 to 32 PWh/year. For comparison Enerdata gives global electricity consumption in 2016 of 21 PWh, where 1 PWh = 1 000 000 000 000 kWh, or “units” of electricity on your bill, and the average European household uses about 3 800 kWh/year.

Although it will not be technically or economically possible to capture all of this, it is still a very worthwhile prize. Based on these estimates, it was concluded that by 2050 wave energy could reach up to 10% of the European Union installed capacity for power generation and thus considerably contribute to further reduce greenhouse gases emissions.There are many different concepts in development to capture the motion of the waves and convert this to useful electricity.These may be mounted on the coastline, on the seabed, or floating in deeper water. Most devices then use some form of electro-mechanical, hydraulic, or pneumatic system to convert the slow reciprocal motion of waves into high-speed rotary motion connected to an electrical generator. This electricity is then collected, transformed, and transmitted to shore and the local electricity grid.

Project Objectives

The main objective of the IMAGINE project (“Innovative Method for Affordable Generation IN ocean Energy”) is to develop a new Electro-Mechanical Generator (EMG) for wave energy applications: a ground-breaking technology that can decrease by over 50% the CAPEX of current PTO technologies, while increasing average efficiency above 70% and lifetime to 20 years.

Project Objectives

Specific sub-objectives of the IMAGINE project are:

Design, development, and fabrication of a 250kW EMG prototype. This will be based on transferring consolidated knowledge from the aerospace industry, and the EMG is characterised by:

  • High average efficiency, expected to be in the range 70%-85%;
  • High affordability, achieving a CAPEX reduction of over 50% with respect to current PTO technologies already at the prototype stage;
  • High reliability, with an expected Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) of 20 years.

Design and realization of a HardWare-In-the-Loop (HWIL) test bench, to emulate the EMG interaction on different WEC concepts at a relevant scale.

Demonstration of the EMG integrability, flexibility and reliability through:

  • Testing the combined WEC-EMG performance on the HWIL system;
  • Identification and implementation of new generator control strategies on the HWIL system, aimed at increasing power extraction efficiency and power quality;
  • Realization of a Failure, Modes, Effect, and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) and a High Accelerated Life Test (HALT).

Demonstration of the EMG affordability and manufacturability, through:

  • A detailed techno-economical assessment of the EMG;
  • An evaluation of the EMG fabrication process and standardization potential.

A detailed assessment of the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of the EMG and a Business Plan to be implemented at the end of this project.

News

Consortium meeting Brussels

November 21, 2019

Consortium meeting Brussels

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Summer internship hosted at NTNU

September 24, 2019

Summer internship hosted at NTNU

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EWTEC 2019 Presentations

September 14, 2019

EWTEC 2019 Presentations

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First technical workshop

August 29, 2019

First technical workshop

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Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund

February 12, 2019

Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund

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University of Edinburgh has started to gather information

February 12, 2019

University of Edinburgh has started to gather information

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INORE symposium October 22-27

October 26, 2018

INORE symposium October 22-27

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UMBRAGROUP meet TAB member Ocean Power Technologies

October 25, 2018

UMBRAGROUP meet TAB member Ocean Power Technologies

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IMAGINE completes formation of the Technical Advisory Board.

October 15, 2018

IMAGINE completes formation of the Technical Advisory Board.

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NTNU hires a postdoc under the IMAGINE project WP5

August 09, 2018

NTNU hires a postdoc under the IMAGINE project WP5

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Events

WES annual conference 2019

open

The WES Annual Conference is a major networking event to help wave energy technology companies share their ideas. The event is free to attend, however registration is required & spaces are limited, so please book now via the link below.

EWTEC 2019

open

The European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (EWTEC) series are international, technical and scientific conferences, focused on ocean renewable energy and widely respected for their commitment to maintain high standards in the quality of academic and industrial contributions to their proceedings.

WES annual conference 2018

open

The WES Annual Conference is a major networking event to help wave energy technology companies share their ideas. The event is free to attend, however registration is required & spaces are limited, so please book now via the link below.