Alternative Generation


Relevant Projects and Research

Project Lead

Wave Energy Scotland Ltd

Electricity generation from waves typically involves highly complex systems.  Alternative generation methods with novel materials could simplify wave energy converters. Wave Energy Scotland is keen to facilitate cross-sector collaboration to drive this forward.

There is an opportunity with alternative generation techniques to realise step-changes in cost and performance that could continue development beyond the current attractive crop of pre-commercial technologies and hasten wave energy’s path to cost competitiveness and subsequent widespread deployment, or application in emerging niche markets. There are challenges that need to be addressed with these technologies, and at this early stage of development this will require a collaborative effort involving materials research, development of cost-effective power electronics, systems integration and wave energy expertise.

In wave energy considerable progress has been made and continues to be made in the development of cost-effective power take off systems (PTOs) which utilise permanent magnets. However, these subsystems have many moving parts and require regular maintenance meaning that they can be highly complex and costly. Alternatives such as Dielectric Elastomer Generators (DEGs) and Triboelectric Nanogenerators (TENGs) provide the potential to reduce the mass, volume and cost associated with a traditional PTO. These solutions can eliminate the need for a separate PTO with the power conversion function being integrated into the WEC structure; or incorporated into existing WECs.

The full technical paper is available to access on the right. For further information on this subject, please contact Jonathan Hodges at Wave Energy Scotland.

Project Keywords: Power Take-Off, Generator, Dielectric Elastomer Generator