MendoCoastCurrent, October 21, 2008
Poseidon may be one of the most promising wave energy concepts available today. The goal is to become a stable and competitive concept for wave energy, hereby becoming an accepted competitor on the market for sustainable energy production. The potential in wave energy is huge.
70% of the earth’s surface is covered by water. The Danish part of the North Sea (which is a very low water energy area) can supply approximately 21 TWH per year, which corresponds to 65 % of the annual Danish energy consumption.
The potential market for wave energy in future is merely emphasized by a cost effective and competitive sustainable supply combined with:
- an extremely large potential
- increased focus on new and renewable energy source
- increased focus on reduction of green house gases
- increased focus on provision of energy supply security
Poseidon is an invention, an ambition and a specific plan to develop and construct sustainable energy power plants in a scale, output and economy that surmounts all previous attempts to transform the oceans infinite energy resources into electricity.
One single 230 meter power plant unit is able to supply 12,500 households with electricity from its location off shore.
Poseidon is a concept for a floating power plant that transforms wave energy into electricity. The power plant furthermore serves as a floating foundation for offshore windmills, thus creating a sustainable energy hybrid. Poseidon has not yet been built at full scale, but has been tested with fine results in scales of 8 meters and 17 meters. A 37 meter off shore demonstration plant was launched in summer 2008. A full scale Poseidon plant can measure from 100 and up to 420 meter depending on wave and wind conditions at the chosen location.
A Poseidon 230 meter scale plant is expected to perform as follows:
- Efficiency of transforming inherent wave energy to electricity of 35%
- The total installed effect of the plant is 30.000 kW, including the 3 windmills
- Energy yield from the waves of 28,207 MWH per year provided the plant is located in the Portuguese part of the Atlantic Ocean
- Energy yield from the 3 windmills of totally 22,075 MWH per year
Poseidon is based on the principle of oscillating water columns. It is designed for location offshore in areas with considerable flux and has a significantly higher installed effect, efficiency and energy production compared to other wave energy systems.
Some of the innovative technological features, leading to Poseidon’s positive results, are:
- The dynamical ballasting of the floats
- The anchor system
- The steadiness of the plant
- The profile of the floats
- The closed system
- The possibility of integration of other sustainable energy production technologies
- The offshore location
How It Began
The concept of Poseidon was established back in 1980. In 1996 the development process was speeded up and the concept has since undergone tests in scale models in size:
· 4,2 meter wave front, system test
· 16,8 meter wave front, floater test
· 8,4 meter wave front, system test
Between these tests, continues engineering development has been performed.
The 4,2 meter wave front, system test
In 1998 the first concept test was performed at Aalborg University in their off-shore basin. The aim of the test was to verify the durability and sustainability of the concept. The test was performed without wind turbines. The results were promising and indicated a potential for a new competitive wave power take off system.
Now – Poseidon 37
Floating Power Plant has constructed a 37 meter model for a full off-shore test at Vindeby off-shore wind turbine park, off the coast of Lolland in Denmark. The demonstration plant named Poseidon 37 is 37 meters wide, 25 meters long, 6 meters high (to deck) and weighs approximately 300 ton. The Poseidon 37 demonstration plant was launched in Nakskov Harbour in Summer 2008 and installed at the off shore test site in September 2008.
The goal of the test is to:
- Document the utilization rate in off-shore conditions.
- Document the use of the system as a floating foundation for wind turbines.
- Learn from off shore testing.
- Use the site as a platform for further development.
Poseidon 37 and the Environment
Minimizing the environmental impact caused by constructing Poseidon is important to the application partners and FPP.
There are several positive environmental impacts from the construction of Poseidon. The energy production from a 230 meter Poseidon power plant will reduce an annual emission from a traditional fossil fuel power generation by:
- 145 tonnes of sulphur dioxide
- 120 tonnes of nitric oxides
- 35000 tonnes of carbon dioxide
- 2600 tonnes of slag and fly ash
Poseidon utilises and absorbs the inherent energy from the waves, thereby reducing the height of the waves significantly and creating calm waters behind the front of the plant.