Tech­nol­ogy firms on crest of wave over £2.5m fund­ing

Re­new­ables: Scot­tish com­pa­nies will de­velop method to har­ness power

The Press and Journal (Aberdeenshire) - - BUSINESS - BY STAN AR­NAUD

Two Scot­tish firms have se­cured £2.5mil­lion to trial pro­to­type tech­nol­ogy which could pro­vide a cost­ef­fec­tive, re­li­able way of turn­ing wave-power into elec­tric­ity.

In­ver­ness-based de­vel­op­ment body Wave En­ergy Scot­land (WES) has awarded the fund­ing to Ed­in­burgh com­pa­nies Artemis In­tel­li­gent Power and Quo­ceant.

Artemis manag­ing di­rec­tor Niall Cald­well said yes­ter­day Orkney’s Euro­pean Marine En­ergy Cen­tre (Emec) would be a “very strong con­tender” as a test site for the equip­ment once it is ready for sea tri­als.

The com­pa­nies be­lieve their Quan­tor “dig­i­tal dis­place­ment hy­draulics” sys­tem is a “fun­da­men­tal ad­vance” in cap­tur­ing me­chan­i­cal power gen­er­ated by re­new­able sources.

Mr Cald­well said: “We have com­bined the es­tab­lished ad­van­tages of hy­draulic power, con­trol­ling tremen­dous forces in harsh en­vi­ron­ments at com­par­a­tively low cost, with the lat­est in smart dig­i­tal con­trol to en­able dra­matic im­prove­ments in ef­fi­ciency and con­trol­la­bil­ity of waveen­ergy de­vices.”

With the WES back­ing, the firms will build and demon­strate a com­plete hy­brid power trans­mis­sion on a lab­o­ra­tory test rig. It will sim­u­late the be­hav­iour of a wave-en­ergy con­verter re­spond­ing to a range of dif­fer­ent real sea con­di­tions. The tech­nol­ogy has been de­vel­oped with engi­neer­ing con­sul­tancy Quo­ceant, whose team pi­o­neered the Pe­lamis waveen­ergy de­vice.

“Quo­ceant’s en­gi­neers have ac­cu­mu­lated thou­sands of sea hours of prac­ti­cal ex­pe­ri­ence in hy­draulic power sys­tems, and we have al­ready proven in the lab that the Quan­tor con­cept per­forms as we ex­pected,” Mr Cald­well said.

He added: “Al­though the test­ing is tak­ing place in a con­trolled en­vi­ron­ment in Ed­in­burgh, we will ul­ti­mately move on to fullscale test­ing at sea and Emec would be a very strong con­tender.”

The Quan­tor project was one of three tech­nolo­gies cho­sen by WES for its power take-off de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme. The oth­ers, which also each re­ceived just un­der £2.5mil­lion, in­volve Ed­in­burgh Univer­sity and Ital­ian com­pany Um­bra Cus­cinetti.

WES manag­ing di­rec­tor Tim Hurst said: “Af­ter an ex­ten­sive eval­u­a­tion process, th­ese tech­nolo­gies were as­sessed to be the best in the pro­gramme and wor­thy of fur­ther de­vel­op­ment.”

Yes­ter­day also saw a new Europe-wide marine en­ergy fund, worth al­most £15mil­lion, launched by de­vel­op­ment agency Scot­tish En­ter­prise.

Fi­nanced by the Euro­pean Union’s Hori­zon 2020 Pro­gramme, the Ocean­er­aNet Co-fund project in­volves a con­sor­tium of seven gov­ern­ments and agen­cies. It will open next month to com­pa­nies and re­search or­gan­i­sa­tions to “sup­port col­lab­o­ra­tive re­search projects.”

“We’ve al­ready proven in the lab that Quan­tor per­forms”

FORCE: ‘Dig­i­tal dis­place­ment hy­draulics’ sys­tem Quan­tor be­ing tested by Ed­in­burgh wave-en­ergy tech­nol­ogy firm Artemis

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