Funding boosts wave-power technology

1 min read

Aberdeen-based Green Ocean Energy has received a boost to its wave-power technology following £100,000 of funding from the Scottish Enterprise Seed Fund and £150,000 of private investment.

The funding has been awarded as part of the Scottish Enterprise’s Seed Funding initiative, which provides investments of between £20,000 and £100,000 for start-up and young, growing companies in Scotland.

According to the group, the investment by Scottish Enterprise will significantly improve its Wave Treader device, which has been designed to connect to an offshore wind turbine for the provision of combined wind and wave energy.

The device (pictured below) works by rotating to face into oncoming waves and converting the motion of the wave into electricity. This electricity is then fed back to the shore through the offshore windfarm’s existing cable network.

Strathclyde University has tested a 1:12.5 ratio scale prototype of Wave Treader. Initial results suggest a peak power rating of 500kW, however, the group expects this to increase following additional optimisation and design improvements.

Graeme Bell, special projects director at Green Ocean Energy, said: ‘We are delighted to receive this support from Scottish Enterprise. The funding will enable the company to take a major step forward and begin detailed engineering and design of a full-scale Wave Treader. It’s been an exciting time for the company and we’re enjoying a fantastic level of interest in our activities.

‘The confidence Scottish Enterprise has shown in us has also helped open doors to potential private backers and we are currently in discussions with a number of other possible investors.’

Neil Ross, investment director at Scottish Enterprise, added: ‘Green Ocean Energy is currently developing an exciting new product for the renewable energy sector, so this provided a great opportunity for us to invest in an early-stage company operating in one of Scotland’s fastest-growing sectors.’

The group expects to manufacture a full-scale prototype device at the beginning of next year once a suitable site has been identified. Deployment is scheduled for 2011 with commercialisation expected to begin in 2012.