“Our availability levels now match other, more established renewables, and even traditional power plants”, says Matthew Seed, CEO of Voith Hydro Wavegen.
“The availability has improved dramatically since the first years of operation, and has been over 90% for the last four years, with 2010 figures running at 98%. The plant has accumulated over 60,000 grid connected generating hours, providing a wealth of data to optimise plant performance, and giving clients enormous confidence in long term reliability.”
The LIMPET wave energy device has been operating since November 2000 on an exposed cliff edge in the Orkney Islands off northern Scotland, UK, has its collector tilted so that the period of the internal water column matches the peak energy period of the waves, easing passage of water into the water column.
LIMPET’s wave power collector is configured as three chambers, each with an aperture at the top. Air above the three water columns combines to feed the generation system. The latter comprises two Wells turbines, each connected to a 250 kW generator that feeds power to the Islay grid. The wave power system is designed to perform optimally in average annual wave intensities of 15-25 kW/m.