17 May 2017
Wärtsilä will support the development of the latest WaveRoller wave energy convertor, designed by Finnish company AW-Energy, with a series of sub-assemblies for a prototype.
The patented WaveRoller is a device that harnesses the energy of ocean waves and turns it into electricity. It consists of a submerged steel panel, which is located near an ocean shore. As waves move back and forth, the mass of water in turn moves the steel panel.
Then hydraulic piston pumps transfer fluid inside a closed circuit into a hydraulic motor that drives an electricity generator, creating an energy output between 500 and 1,000 kW per panel, depending on the intensity of the waves. The device needs no fuel, which makes it attractive from both an ecological and an economical point of view.
Wärtsilä is supporting AW-Energy by providing technology and marine industry expertise to develop the WaveRoller into a commercially viable product. The project itself involves installing a single WaveRoller unit off the coast of Portugal, at Peniche, for a year.
“Harnessing the energy of the oceans is one answer to the world’s growing need of renewable energy resources. Emission-free wave energy has great commercial potential, and Wärtsilä is proud to work with AW-Energy in developing the WaveRoller. This innovative energy production technology also gives us an opportunity to offer our products and expertise to attractive new markets,” says Les Creak, General Manager, Wärtsilä Hydro & Industrial services.
The crucial components to be supplied by Wärtsilä include metallic bearing housings, steel bearings, lip seals and hydraulic couplings. Wärtsilä will also provide the necessary installation services for the sub-assemblies. In addition to these products and services, Wärtsilä can also offer its experience and knowhow in marine solutions, including wave and tidal power, to support the product development of the WaveRoller; with both AW Energy directly and its project partners, such as Lloyds Register.
Photo: Lihir floating power plant. Copyright: Wärtsilä