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Press release: LAMWEC project to prove Laminaria WEC survivability


Flemish wave energy developer Laminaria has joined forces with the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), Innosea, Ghent University, and TTI Testing to support the development of their novel wave energy converter (WEC).

Funded under the OCEANERA-NET First Joint Call 2014, the LAMWEC project seeks to develop and test a 100kW Laminaria WEC, progressing from TRL stage 5 (technology validated in relevant environment) to 7 (system prototype demonstration in operational environment).

The main focus of the project is to prove the survivability of the Laminaria WEC, which incorporates an innovative storm protection system, at pre-commercial scale in extreme storm conditions.

The LAMWEC consortium will address specific technology challenges – including the development of a mooring and pulley system to support the innovative storm protection system, power take-off (PTO), frame and new anchor design – enabling the partners to bring together and further develop their technical expertise, with over 30 years of combined practical experience in ocean energy.

Laminaria’s CEO Steven Nauwelaerts, said:

“We are keen to come and test our technology at full scale at the challenging EMEC site. We are confident that our technology can survive any storm with conservation of nominal production. Together with our partners the aim of the LAMWEC project is to develop a device that is reliable and predictable in O&M.”

The project will culminate in the testing and performance assessment of Laminaria’s wave converter at EMEC’s grid-connected wave test site at Billia Croo, off the West Coast of Orkney in 2017.

EMEC Managing Director, Neil Kermode, said:

“LAMWEC is taking a step by step approach in developing each aspect of the device prior to real-sea testing at EMEC, and we’re looking forward to working with Laminaria and the other project partners throughout this process.”

The LAMWEC project is being funded through OCEANERA-NET, an initiative looking to help address research and innovation challenges in ocean energy, coordinated by Scottish Enterprise.

Karen Fraser, Marine Energy Senior Executive at Scottish Enterprise and OCEANERA-NET Coordinator, said:

“I am pleased that the OCEANERA-NET Joint Call 2014 has been able to facilitate transnational cooperation, combining expertise from the UK and Belgium, to support the development of an exciting new wave energy device and tackle technology issues, such as cabling design, which can be applicable across a range of devices and technologies.”

Jeroen De Maeyer, Business Development Manager at Ghent University said:

“A key benefit of this technology is its high capacity factor thanks to its survival strategy. This improves LCOE and expands the range of operation at rated power. Laminaria is a young dynamic Flemish company which we are very happy to support.”

Dr Isabel Ridge, Technical Director at TTI Testing Ltd, said:

“We are pleased to be part of this study and provide our expert skills in designing fibre rope mooring systems, their interaction with mooring hardware and the WEC in general. Furthermore, our specialist testing facility will be utilised to test the novel mooring system components and verify their durability.”








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