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AWS starts testing of wave device at Loch ness

The Inverness based company has deployed a 1/9th scale of its AWS-III device, a ring-shaped multi-cell surface-floating wave power system, the result of almost two years of intensive research and development work.

AWS Ocean Energy says it is aiming to deploy a full-system prototype AWS-III during 2012 and a pre-commercial demonstrator plant during 2013.

Simon Grey, Chief Executive of AWS Ocean Energy said in a statement, “In developing the design of the AWS-III, we believe we have addressed the fundamental barriers to delivering practical wave energy. We have eliminated moving mechanical parts in contact with sea-water by using a novel system of flexible diaphragms arranged around a steel hull and incorporating air turbines.”

A single utility-scale AWS-III, measuring around 60 metres in diameter, will be capable of generating up to 2.5 Megawatts (MW) of continuous power, providing customers with an affordable solution to generating bulk power from the ocean waves.

To support the development of the AWS-III, the company earlier this year secured a £2.3 million investment from Scottish Enterprise’s Scottish Co-investment Fund and the Shell Technology Ventures Fund 1 B.V and the company has since applied for and is hopeful of securing further financial support for the development of the AWS-III device from the Scottish Government’s WATERS programme that will support marine energy R&D in Scotland.

A key stage now for AWS Ocean is its testing of the AWS-III device on Loch Ness over the next four months. No electricity will be generated by the 1/9th scale device but it will provide valuable design data and confirm the AWS-III’s revenue generation potential.

The company aims to then build and deploy a full-scale single cell in order to prove the durability of the diaphragms prior to launching a 12-cell, 2.5MW pre-commercial demonstrator in 2012. Subject to financing and planning consents, the company plans to have a 10MW pre-commercial demonstration farm operating in 2014.
 

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