Seabased has tested its FUll-SCALE generators in ocean environments since 2006. The trials have been carried out across all FOUR seasons, and generator run-times have varied from 1-15 months
Full Scale Open Sea Testing at Islandsberg, Sweden
Starting in 2006, Seabased has regularly used the University of Uppsala’s Islandsbergsite off the west coast of Sweden for open sea testing.This includes multiple Seabased generator tests, totaling 12 different Wave Energy Converters (WECs) and 2 Marine Substations.
The first Seabased WEC operated in real ocean seas for up to 5 months at a time during four different test periods between March 2006 and August 2009, altogether totaling 15 months and 11 days of open sea run time.
In 2009, experiments were performed on an array of 3 generators connected to a Marine Substation, and the power output from each WEC was separately rectified by a passive diode and connected in parallel to a common DC-bus in the substation. After DC/AC-conversion and transformation, the electrical power was transmitted to a nearby island, Härmanö, and converted into heat in resistive dump loads.
The Islandsberg site has been equipped with approximately thirty biology buoys with the purpose of studying the environmental impact from buoys on the surface and concrete foundations on the seabed. For the motion studies, an observation tower has been installed.
The Maren Project in Runde, Norway
The power company Vattenfall contracted Seabased to provide two full scale wave energy converters, a marine substation and a sub-sea cable (2.7 km) connecting the generators to the 22-kV grid for the MAREN project in Runde, Norway. The total installed capacity was 0.3 MW.
The generators were produced at Seabased’s manufacturing facility in Lysekil. The project ran from 2008-2009 and the partnership included Vattenfall, Runde Environmental Centre, and Tussa Kraft.
The permit was issued by the Norwegian Electricity Authority (NVE) in December 2008 and the wave energy converters and marine substation were deployed in September 2009.
The Runde test site belongs to Runde Environmental Centre and is situated approximately 40m off the island of Runde in western Norway at 45-90m water depth on gravel substratum with interspersed rock and some sand.
The authorities required an environmental monitoring program to investigate the presence or absence of impact on the environment. The overall project management for the environmental monitoring was carried out by Vattenfall, but the scientific advising and execution of the program was the responsibility of researchers at Runde Environmental Centre. In addition, external scientific review was provided by researchers at Vattenfall, the University of Uppsala and the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA).
The WESA Project in Åland, Finland
In 2011, Seabased supplied a wave energy converter to a pioneering wave energy conversion project in the waters outside of Åland Islands of Finland. Project WESA (Wave Energy for a Sustainable Archipelago) introduced full-scale sea trials of a Seabased Wave Energy Converter (WEC) in all four seasons in the Baltic Sea. Experiments were conducted with two buoys, including an ice buoy.
Save a few hours of planned downtime when a new ice buoy was connected, the Seabased generator ran continuously and without issue for 450 days (some10800 hours) from the time a buoy was connected on 25 September 2012 until the planned end of the project, 19 December 2013.
Project conclusions included that the WEC and buoy system could handle ice-interaction of the kind encountered at the test site during two winter seasons. The system survived drifting ice fields up to a thickness of 15 cm according to satellite radar (SAR) of the area.
The WESA project was a joint research effort between the Åland Innovation Cluster, the University of Turku and Uppsala University and was financed by the EU (75%) and the Swedish and Finnish governments (25%).
The Ada Foah Pilot in Ghana
In 2016, Seabased successfully completed a demonstration wave power park just south of Ada, Ghana, for TC’s Energy. This became Africa’s first wave power park, and the start of what is intended to be a large commercial wave power park along the coast of Ghana.
A primary purpose of the demonstration was to learn how to quickly and economically scale up assembly and installation. Seabased and TC’s Energy wanted to explore what aspects of assembly, testing and installation could be done in Ghana, and what circumstances or conditions make this efficient in terms of quality, price and speed, so these lessons could be applied to the utility scale wave park.
Seabased was responsible for supplying a complete wave power park consisting of 6 L12 Wave Energy Converters (WEC), one connection hub, a land switchgear and the sea cable. Seabased’s responsibility included design, manufacture or procurement, and delivery to Ghana, as well as supervision of installation and testing.
The success of the demonstration led to a contract to further build out a 100 MW wave power park!
Read more about it below:
The Sotenäs Project in Sweden
The Sotenäs Wave Power Demonstration Project included the supply of 36 wave energy converters (WECs), a marine substation and an almost 10 km long transmission link between the wave power park and the mainland grid. Seabased also assumed responsibility for all permits, including environmental permits.
On December 13th, 2015, Seabased and Fortum connected the low voltage marine substation to the Nordic grid in Kungshamn in what was heralded as the first ever grid connected subsea generator switchgear.
Shortly thereafter, the first four buoys were connected to their respective wave energy converters and on January 14th, 2016 the wave power park generated electrical power to the Nordic power grid for the first time. The event received widespread international attention as the world’s first grid-connected multi-generator wave park.
A great deal of effort went in to adapting the production of wave energy converters for efficient manufacture. Parameters for choice of both materials and processes included series production, quality control, cost-efficiency, environmental friendliness, and ease of manufacture.
The project also involved the testing of a number of different installation techniques. Installation using a specialized Light Construction Vessel (LCV) proved the safest and most cost-effective method as it allowed for more equipment installed and connected per trip. At an installation depth of 50 meters, the use of a ROV (Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle) was preferable to using divers.
The Sotenäs project was funded by the energy company Fortum and by a grant from the Swedish Energy Agency.