Although the first attempts to exploit wave energy go back to similar periods of other renewable energy sources, no particular technology has yet proved to be successful. Survivability in the ocean harsh environment will be one of the key features for commercial success of Offshore Wave Energy Converters.
This paper describes the sea trials results of a new offshore Wave Energy Converter, namely the OCEANTEC WEC. The OCEANTEC WEC is an offshore floating structure, whose capture principle is based on a relative inertial movement produced by a gyroscopic system. Said movement is used to feed a conventional electric generator through several transformation stages of the primary mechanical absorbed energy.
It will also present and discuss the results of the wave tank tests performed in the CEHIPAR facilities with a fifteenth scale model. The model contained a simplified Power Take Off system with the aim of studying the performance of the WEC in regular and irregular waves.
The sea trials were carried out with a quarter scale prototype in the Northern Coast of Spain. The prototype was in commission during a short period of time in summer and autumn so that the sea environmental conditions could be scaled. The goal of these trials was to analyse the structural behaviour of the hull, the data acquisition system and the loads in the lines of the mooring system.