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Variohm Eurosensor supplied Voith Hydro Wavegen — an Inverness-based renewable wave power specialist — with Novotechnik RFC4800 series ’touchless technology’ non-contact angle sensors, for use within the world’s first commercial wave power plant.

The 300kW plant is located in Mutriku in the north of Spain and is based on Wavegen’s Nearshore Oscillating Water Column (OWC) technology, which uses the sensors supplied by Variohm Eurosensor.

Wavegen’s OWC was commissioned by the Basque Energy Board for use within the structure, which features 16 integrated Wells turbines located above a large chamber that has an opening under the water. As the ocean rises and falls so does the water level within the chamber. As the water rises it compresses the air in the chamber and forces it through the turbine generator, and when it falls air is pulled back through the turbine and into the chamber. No matter which way the air flows the turbine is always driven in the same direction.

The RFC4800 angle sensor provides position feedback for a butterfly damper, which is located between the chamber and turbine and isolates the turbine for shut-down purposes — as well as throttling the airflow during extreme sea states.

The sensor uses a magnetic position sensor — fixed to the turbine frame, with a corresponding magnetic position marker located on the end of the actuator shaft — which interacts with its electronics and provides an analogue output that is proportional to angle position.

Key benefits of product application

  • No bearings that can wear
  • Each element is IP69 sealed, enabling high reliability and a long life
  • The magnet and sensor elements are easily installed
  • Analogue output is absolute
  • No need to recalibrate valve position after a power shut-down
  • Sensor is suitable for use in extreme environments
  • Resilient to shock and vibration

Variohm Eurosensor

Founded in 1974, Variohm Eurosensor has been the leading single source supplier of sensors and associated electronic systems for over 40 years.
Variohm’s product portfolio includes sensors and transducers for; position, pressure, temperature and load. With a technical sales support team ready for new challenges, Variohm can ensure that the most suitable sensor will be selected for applications in any industry.

Based in Towcester, Northamptonshire, Variohm Eurosensor has been the leading single source supplier of industrial sensors and associated electronic systems since 1974.

With a technical sales support team, receiving regular product training, Variohm has the structure and financial strength to deliver technical support and quality service along with expert up-to-date advice on their entire product portfolio. Variohm’s ability to design, develop, source and deliver a vast range of sensor solutions means that the sales support team is able to work with customers throughout their entire project, enabling customers to influence how their products work.

Variohm’s aim is to provide an efficient, cost effective, flexible service to customers, irrespective of their size, business or geographical location.

Variohm Eurosensor are part of the Variohm Holdings Group. Variohm Holdings as an entity can provide products to suit any sensing application in any industry and is eager to use it’s combined knowledge and skills to solve new applications.

Variohm Eurosensor – Sensors and transducers manufacturer, distributor and supply chain partner
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Variohm Eurosensor’s range of products monitor: –Position, Load, Pressure and Temperature

Position sensors include rotary and linear sensors, cable extension transducers and inclination sensors. Available in various contacting and non-contacting technologies, including Hall effect, incremental and absolute encoders and laser measurement.

Load and force sensing; load cells from 1g to 1000t capacities, available in a wide range of mechanical sizes and designs to suit all applications. High speed bagging controllers, torque transducers to measure both dynamic and static loads, with various mounting and electrical connection options.

Pressure transducers and switches to measure absolute, differential and gauge pressure up to 5000 Bar. These sensors are available is a wide range of outputs and also standard and customised housing options, with IP ratings up to IP69K.

Thermistors and probes offering a wide temperature measurement range, with excellent interchangeability and stability which are also space and flight approved or medically approved where appropriate. Custom and bespoke solutions are available and many are manufactured or modified on site.

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