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Ocean Power Technologies completes trials of offshore underwater substation pod

Ocean Power Technologies has completed trials of its Underwater Substation Pod (USP) product in Spain, which is designed to facilitate the collection, networking and transforming of offshore power and data generated by up to 10 of its wave power device, PowerBuoy, for transmission to a shore-based electricity grid by one subsea power cable.

The Underwater Substation Pod has been built as an open platform, and can therefore provide ‘plug and play’ connectivity for any offshore energy device linked to it.

Trials of the Underwater Substation Pod included pressure testing, running electric power to and from the system, and verification of data communication capabilities.

The majority of offshore energy systems generate electricity at low voltage and need to step-up to medium or high voltage for efficient transmission to shore. Additionally, offshore power projects typically have a number of devices (wind turbines, wave energy converters, tidal devices) that need to be networked offshore so that a single subsea cable can export the power and data to the shore.

Stuart Bower, Engineering and Projects Director of Ocean Power Technologies, who led the development team of this exciting new product, says: "Comparable products used in the offshore oil and gas industry do not have the USP's advantages for higher power capacity, longer life expectancy, fewer moving parts, a passive cooling system, lower cost per megawatt, and the ability to accommodate many power generation devices.”

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Energy infrastructure  •  Other marine energy and hydropower  •  Wave and tidal energy  •  Wind power