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Landscaping Studies

Alternative Generation Techniques - Landscaping Study


  • Project Lead

    Wave Energy Scotland Ltd

  • Author

    Frazer-Nash Consultancy Ltd

  • Date

    December 2018

Wave Energy Scotland (WES) has commissioned this landscaping study with the aim of identifying and analysing potential alternative generation technologies which may provide opportunities for use in wave energy and provide a step change reduction in the delivered cost of energy.

The key objectives of this landscaping study are to:

  • Identify alternative technologies which have potential to output electricity in a wave energy generation environment.
  • Assess key physical and functional characteristics, to assess the capabilities, limitations, applications, and potential opportunities offered by each alternative technology.
  • Identify which technologies may present an opportunity to deliver a step change reduction in the Levelised Cost Of Energy (LCOE).
  • Identify the development challenges which would have to be overcome to realise the potential for each technology.

This study considers the potential of the alternative technologies within the context of the technology achieving utility scale wave energy generation within 25 years. A number of generation technologies with a TRL <7 were identified and the feasibility and opportunities each of these afforded in fulfilling the fundamental energy interactions was assessed. Concepts for wave energy interfacing were produced and technical issues and uncertainties were identified. 

The recommendations from this landscaping study are to:

  • Investigate the technical feasibility of using DEG in an architecture that allows for the removal of some or all of the Conversion Subsystem and Structure (such as a bulge wave or similar configuration). In addition to considering the power generating potential of such a device, this should consider the survivability of a full scale DEG device in the ocean environment and the consequent OPEX costs.
  • Conduct further investigation to increase the certainty in the results of this study. Small research projects could focus on testing the assumptions made regarding the cost and performance of each technology.
  • Carry out a more detailed study into the design refinements possible for rotary/linear electrical generators.

Project Keywords: Electrical, Generator, Electromechanical, Torque, Power, Reliability, Performance, Energy Storage, Dielectric Elastomer Generator, Gearbox, Linear Generator, Magnet, Landscaping, PTO, TRL, Yield

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