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AMCS and Wave Swell Energy have jointly conducted research and testing into the performance of oscillating water column (OWC) wave energy converters.
A 1:24 scale model of an innovative OWC converter was first tested in AMC’s Model Test Basin to quantify the performance of the device by measuring the wave elevation and air pressure for a wide range of operational variables. The results provided proof of concept for the new system by indicating a significant increase in output for the innovative system compared to a standard OWC.
A 1:30 scale model was then tested in regular and irregular waves in the Model Test Basin in order to quantity the effect of new features and acquire suitable data to evaluate the forces acting on the WEC during extreme weather conditions.
A total of 1005 test runs were conducted to investigate various parameters including comparison of open and closed turbine, force required to move the gravity-based structure and in regular and irregular wave conditions.
Testing and analysis indicated a total increase in output of approximately 120% over the previous best known OWC results. In 2019, construction of a full-scale commercial demonstrator WEC was commenced and is scheduled for deployment of the south-east corner of King Island, Tasmania. AMCS continues to provide Wave Swell with engineering support for this demonstrator, including valve testing and deployment, full scale data acquisition, data collection and ADCP analysis.
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Wave Swell Energy could not be happier with the results obtained by AMC during the testing of the company's wave energy technology.
The results indicate the technology is ready to assume its place as part of the world's commercial energy generation mix, with a strong potential to be among the very lowest cost sources of power within a few years.