Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) has completed the first of its new utility-scale PowerBuoy wave energy converters, the PB150.
With a peak-rated power output of 150kW, the 135ft-long device is designed for use in arrays for grid-connected power-generation projects.
The PB150’s steel structure was fabricated in Scotland, and the power take-off and control system was built and tested at OPT’s facilities in Warwick and Pennington in New Jersey, US. The final integration and testing of the complete PowerBuoy was conducted at Invergordon, Scotland.
The device is currently being prepared for ocean trials at a site approximately 33 nautical miles from Invergordon off Scotland’s north-east coast.
Following installation at the test site, a number of operations and tests will follow, examining the response of the buoy’s structure and mooring system to waves, and the power produced by the onboard generator.
An onboard simulator will mimic grid-connection conditions to ensure the buoy’s electrical systems are subject to full commercial testing. Data collected during the trials will be transmitted in real time for analysis by OPT’s engineers.
OPT is seeking additional financing for the commercial utilisation of the buoy after the trial phase is completed, including its possible deployment at various potential sites.
A second PB150 is already under construction in the US for a proposed utility-scale project in Oregon, and the company is involved in other planned projects in Australia, Japan and Europe that may utilise the PB150.