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Wave energy converter arrives in Orkney for EMEC demo

The Archimedes Waveswing just off the boat at Hatson on its way to Stromness (Orkney Photographic).

A new wave energy converter, developed by Inverness-based AWS Ocean Energy, has arrived in Orkney ahead of its imminent deployment at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC).

The 16 kW Archimedes Waveswing arrived at Hatston Pier, Kirkwall on Tuesday evening, 25 January 2022, before being transported to Copland’s Dock in Stromness where it will be readied for deployment at EMEC’s Scapa Flow test site in February.

Weighing in at 50 tons, the seven-metre high, four-metre diameter device travelled to Orkney by ferry following a period of dry testing undertaken by the AWS engineering team at Muir of Ord.

When deployed, the Archimedes Waveswing is moored to the seabed and sits below the surface of the sea, reacting to changes in pressure caused by passing waves. It is moored on a single tension tether. The subsea location and ability to winch low in the water column enables extreme storm loadings to be avoided so that the device can continue to operate in rough sea conditions. The Waveswing is designed to react to long ocean swell waves as well as short, wind-driven seas, for high energy capture.

The £3.4 million prototype project has been funded by Wave Energy Scotland (WES) as part of the Novel Wave Energy Converter development programme. The demonstration at EMEC is also supported by the Interreg North-West Europe’s Ocean DEMO project.

Neil Kermode, managing director, EMEC said:

“We’re delighted to welcome AWS and the Archimedes Waveswing to Orkney and support its deployment and testing at our site in Scapa Flow.

“Real sea deployment is a vital step in proving performance, reliability and survivability of these devices. We know that prototype testing at sea is really valuable to technology developers to check how a technology and its components work and react in the environment prior to scaling up. We are looking forward to helping the team as they prove how to install, operate and maintain their exciting machine in Orkney’s harsh conditions.”

(Featured image credit: Colin Keldie)