5 MW Wave Power Gibraltar
Gibraltar is enjoying it’s wave power.
It’s now connected to the grid, providing 1 MW to the national grid which will be extended to 5 MW.
The plant, is composed of 8 ocean energy converter units.
Gibraltar 100% renewables
Gibraltar plans to leverage it to strive for a 100% renewable energy profile.
The additional units will be much larger and are currently in the design phase. When all units are operational, the plant is expected to meet 15% of Gibraltar’s electricity demand.
Eco Wave Power claims that the Gibraltar plant is the first grid-connected, multi-unit wave power plant in Europe to operate under the terms of a commercial power purchase agreement.
Ocean Power biggest challenges
There are different types of Ocean Power Plants. They all share two challenges:
- Saltwater corrosion is a big one
- Storms are another challenge
a combination of high wind and high seas
Eco Wave Power is one of the companies who did a good job. They have been working on their ocean energy conversion technology since 2011. And they are still fine-tuning the models based on lessons learned from a test bed in Ukraine and a pilot plant in Israel.
This is how it works
- the floating platform moves up and down with the waves
- the units are typically anchored to a jetty, breakwater, or other protruding structure
- the EWP convertors draw energy from wave power throughout uniquely shaped buoys, “The Wave Clapper” and the “Power Wing” that rise and fall with the up and down motion, lifting force, change of water level, hydraulic air lock, and incident flux of waves.
- the buoys are fully equipped with sensors which continuously monitor the performance of the various subsystems and surrounding ocean environment
- during extreme conditions, the units can be lifted above the threat line, from a horizontal to a vertical position.
the system automatically recognizes the type of waves, and independently decides whether to raise the buoys over the water level, or to create a process of buoy submersion into the ocean, in order to protect the system from mechanical injuries
This is great
One of the company’s key improvements was to tailor the shape of the float, in order to draw more motion out of the same wave.
Other improvements involve hydraulic systems that enable the float to maintain its most efficient position through seasonal or weather-related changes in the water level.
The trick is to convert all that activity into an electric current. Some wave power devices are designed with onboard generators, and the electricity is shipped to land via undersea cable.
Not for Eco Wave Power. They ship the pressurized fluid to a generator on land. The land-based power plant has some advantages:
- ease of access for maintenance and repair
- no accidental spills or releases of the hydraulic fluid and other potentially toxic substances
Eco Wave Power states that its advanced coatings, combined with a unique arrangement of cathodes, provides its technology with a lifespan of at least 30 years and up.
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