MendoCoastCurrent, January 29, 2008
Since then the company’s test machine has logged almost 4.000 operational hours in the first six months of daily operation, been through seven significant storms and is a major step on the way towards commercial wave power.
The 1:10 scale model is 24 metres long and designed to stand in water which is a couple of metres deep and operates in waves which are 1:10 og fhte wave height in the North Sea.
The 20 floats on either side of the machine, which generate the electricity by being pressed upwards by the waves, are one metre in diameter and generate electricity from waves of a height of just 5 centimetres. But in spite of its size the test machine has been built in exactly the same way as the 240-metre long Wave Star machines of the future.
“The 1:10 machine is controlled in exactly the same way as the full-scale machine and this means that it provides us with practical operational experience,” explains Per Resen Steenstrup.
The test machine has an output of 5.5 kilowatt and can generate electrical power corresponding to the electrical power consumption of two single-family houses. The plan is that it will remain in Nissum Bredning until August 2008. Wave Star Energy has already begun work on the construction of a first series produced 1:2 model of the 6 megawatt machine, which is the ultimate goal.
“Each time the size of the machine is doubled – and can thereby operat in a wave height which is twice as high – the power of the machine increases 11 times. With wind turbines the effect is only quadrupled at the same wind speed,” says Per Resen Steenstrup.
This means that the 1:2 model will have an output of 500 kilowatt.
“As soon as we have tested the 1:2 model and documented its output data in the North Sea, we will begin to market the Wave Star machine. And the prospects are huge. To put it into context you could say that, in the course of the 25 or so years which the wind turbine industry has been in existence, it has succeeded in reducing the price per kilowatt hour roughly seven times. But we just need to reduce the price four times to get down to the same level,” explains Per Resen Steenstrup.
The Wave Star wave power machines will be designed for an operating life of approx. 50 years in an ocean environment. The plan is that the machine will undergo a major inspection every 10 years, when the machine will be towed into land, thereby avoiding costly offshore operations. In reality the machines will be written off in less than 20 years, so the remaining operating life represents pure profit.