Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Pelamis Wave Power designs and manufactures the Pelamis Wave Energy Converter – a technology that uses the motion of ocean surface waves to create electricity. The company was established in 1998 and had offices and fabrication facilities in Leith Docks, Edinburgh, Scotland. It went into administration in November 2014. Wikipedia.

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Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2011-1 | Award Amount: 1.46M | Year: 2012

Sustainable offshore wave energy has the potential to make a real contribution towards the binding EU commitment to source 20% of its electricity requirements from renewable sources by 2020. The vast wave energy resource along Europes western seaboard is unparalleled anywhere in the world. Consequently the EU has an opportunity to become international industry leaders in what is becoming a rapidly evolving and dynamic marketplace. However technical and economical hurdles associated with anchoring wave energy devices to the seabed threatens to stall and limit the impact that renewable wave energy has the potential to deliver. Consequently the offshore renewable wave energy industry has collectively identified mooring and anchoring systems as a research topic of immediate relevance and priority. GeoWAVE aims to address this immediate research need by providing a structure whereby industry specified research will be conducted on a new generation of offshore anchors and mooring components deemed to have the highest economical and technical merit for mooring wave energy devices. In so doing GeoWAVE will remove the technical and economical hurdle of mooring wave energy converters to the seabed so that widespread deployment on a commercial scale becomes viable, thereby providing new business opportunities for the SMEs. This 2 year project brings together 3 SMEs, 3 RTD performers and 1 end-user group from 5 EU member states. The research approach adopted by the consortium involves using complementary methodologies in numerical, analytical and experimental modelling combined with field trials to increase the understanding of the combined response of the system and to develop economical and practical design solutions for the wave energy industry. The new knowledge generated by the project will be fully assigned to the SMEs, who will exploit the assigned intellectual property rights by maximising the market opportunity that is considered to open up by 2016.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENERGY-2007-2.6-03 | Award Amount: 5.48M | Year: 2008

EquiMar will deliver a suite of protocols for the equitable evaluation of marine energy converters (based on either tidal or wave energy). These protocols will harmonise testing and evaluation procedures across the wide variety of devices presently available with the aim of accelerating adoption though technology matching and improved understanding of the environmental and economic impacts associated with the deployment of arrays of devices. EquiMar will assess devices through a suite of protocols covering site selection, device engineering design, the scaling up of designs, the deployment of arrays of devices, the environmental impact, in terms of both biological & coastal processes, and economic issues. A series of protocols will be developed through a robust, auditable process and disseminated to the wider community. Results from the EquiMar project will establish a sound base for future standards (e.g. IEC TC 114)

Two articles published by the Guardian insinuated that a Chinese company “stole” Scottish technology in the process of developing the Hailong 1 wave-power generating device (Mysterious factory break-in raises suspicions about Chinese visit, 10 October; Does China deserve a reputation as the land of copycats? 15 October). However, these reports are not grounded in facts. Upon seeing the above-mentioned reports, we immediately sent an inquiry to the relevant company, China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC). CSIC replied that the Hailong 1 wave-power generating device is based on independent research and development by CSIC. The Chinese company has a patent on the invention and application of this device is in accordance with all international conventions on intellectual property rights (IPR) as well as Chinese laws and regulations. In the designing and building process, the Chinese company had never had discussion with any British entity with regard to the relevant technology, nor purchased any reference material not open to the public or employed any personnel associated with the Scottish company, Pelamis Wave Power. Hailong 1 has been designed to suit China’s marine environment conditions. There are huge differences between Hailong 1 and the Pelamis version in terms of design, appearance and structure of the joint. China attaches great important to the protection of intellectual property rights and the World Intellectual Property Organization has established an office in China. Zeng Rong Spokesperson of the Chinese embassy in the UK

Yemm R.,Pelamis Wave Power | Pizer D.,Pelamis Wave Power | Retzler C.,Pelamis Wave Power | Henderson R.,Pelamis Wave Power
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences | Year: 2012

The development of the Pelamis wave energy converter from its conceptual origins to its commercial deployment is reviewed. The early emphasis on designing for survivability and favourable power absorption characteristics focused attention towards a self-referenced articulated line-absorber in an attenuator orientation. A novel joint and control system allow the machine to be actively tuned to provide a resonant response power amplification in small and moderate seas. In severe seas, the machine is left in its default or natural condition, which is benign and non-resonant. Hydraulic rams at the joints provide the primary power take-off with medium-term storage in high-pressure accumulators yielding smooth electricity generation. Land-based modular construction requiring minimal weather windows for rapid offshore installation is an essential engineering feature necessary for viable commercialization. The second-generation Pelamis designs built for E.ON and ScottishPower Renewables are presented, and the scope for further cost reduction and performance enhancements are explained. © 2011 The Royal Society.

Stansell P.,Pelamis Wave Power | Pizer D.J.,Pelamis Wave Power
Applied Ocean Research | Year: 2013

This work investigates the consequences of imposing a volume constraint on the maximum power that can be absorbed from progressive regular incident waves by an attenuating line absorber heaving in a travelling wave mode. Under assumptions of linear theory an equation for the maximum absorbed power is derived in terms of two dimensionless independent variables representing the length and the half-swept volume of the line absorber. The equation gives the well-known result for a point absorber wave energy converter in the limit of zero length and it gives Budal's upper bound in the limit of zero volume. The equation shows that the maximum power absorbed by a heaving point absorber is limited regardless of its volume, whilst for a heaving line absorber whose length tends to infinity the maximum power is proportional to its swept volume, with no limit. Power limits arise for line absorbers of practical lengths and volumes but they can be multiples of those achieved for point absorbers of similar volumes. This conclusion has profound implications for the scaling and economics of wave energy converters. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Collaborative Research & Development | Award Amount: 1.09M | Year: 2011

This project will demonstrate the operation of an array of Pelamis P2 wave energy converters, operated by Pelamis Wave Power under contract to E.ON and ScottishPower Renewables. The objectives of the project are to refine O&M methods, enhance machine performance, demonstrate machine reliability and to support a robust cost reduction strategy for future projects. The consortium comprises: PWP with over 12 years of experience in R&D, deploying and operating wave energy technology; E.ON bringing extensive experience owning and operating a diverse generation portfolio, with specific skills on innovative storage and generation technologies; and ScottishPower Renewables - part of Iberdrola Renewables - the worlds biggest producer of renewable energy who bring significant experience of developing, owning and operating major renewable generation assets.

News Article | October 28, 2008
Site: www.wired.com

A bane of Big Oil’s offshore rigs could become a boon for renewable energy. By tapping the natural motion of slow-moving water, a new hydrokinetic generator could open vast new swaths of the ocean for energy production. When ocean currents flow over any kind of cylinder, like the long cables that hold drilling platforms in place, small vortices are created. They eventually spin away, or shed, causing vibrations that over time can destroy an oil rig’s moorings. Now, a University of Michigan engineer who long worked on suppressing this phenomenon, has developed a prototype energy-harvester that can capture the mechanical energy it creates. "About four years ago, it dawned on me that we should enhance the vibrations and try to harness the energy," said ocean engineer Michael Bernitsas, who has founded Vortex Hydro Energy to commercialize his idea. "No one has ever thought of patenting this idea, even though vortex induced vibrations were first observed in 1504 by Leonardo da Vinci." Energy experts consider the movement of water in oceans a vast untapped source of clean energy  that could provide up to 10 percent of U.S. demand (pdf). A variety of schemes have been proposed to capture this mechanical energy, usually involving turbines to capture fast-moving water generated by tides or a strong current. But few projects have progressed beyond the science project stage. The most advanced is a Pelamis Wave Power project off the coast of Portugal, which provides a mere 2 megawatts of power. One major problem is that most underwater turbines require the water to be moving very fast. One study suggested that hydrokinetic projects only made economic sense in currents moving at over six knots, which are highly rare. It’s all the ocean’s other currents, which are generally under 3 knots, that Bernitsas sees as his technology’s main advantage. "There is a huge amount of hydrokinetic energy in currents but a lot of that we cannot harness with the present technology and that’s where my device comes in, to extract energy at speeds down to 1 knot," said Michael Bernitsas, who has founded Vortex Hydro Energy to commercialize his idea. "It taps into a new energy source." That idea has attracted some name-brand backers. The National Science Foundation, the U.S. Navy, and the Department of Energy have together contributed about $2 million to Vortex to further develop the concept. Prototypes of the device — known as Vortex Induced Vibrations Aquatic Clean Energy — are essentially round cylinders a few inches across suspended in water on a spring. The vortices generated by water flow move the cylinder up and down. The VIVACE system converts that mechanical energy into electricity via rotary or linear generators. In the future, Bernitsas wants to create modular 50 kilowatt units, like the artist’s rendering seen above. They could be strung together for larger applications into power plants producing as much as a gigawatt of power. The engineers are working on making the basic system components more efficient, too. The cylinders of the early designs have sprouted tails, which allow them to use more of the energy in the vortices. It’s an idea that the engineer has borrowed from whales, fish, tadpoles and other creatures that move in liquid, which he says all have a bluff, or not slender, body followed by a tail. "The muscle power the fish have is not enough to support the speed at which they are going," he said. "So, if you study more carefully, there are lots of things going on. A fish will curve its body, collect a vortex, shed it, and collect one on the other side and shed that, alternating on the two sides of its body." The design of the system allows it to take much more energy out of the water than turbine-based systems. In technical terms, the energy density of the system is higher. For example, in a three-knot current, the VIVACE gets 50 watts per cubic meter of water, while the Pelamis system, considered the world leader in ocean energy, gets 21. The innovative nature of the idea, however, is no guarantee of commercial success. "I think that it’s at a very, very early stage of development," said Roger Bedard, an analyst at the Electric Power Research Institute in Palo Alto, California, and world expert on ocean energy. And Bernitsas’ system would be subject to the United States’ regulatory process, which was designed with large hydroelectric dam projects in mind, and that has hampered all hydrokinetic energy technology development. "You have to go through 20 to 25 different regulatory agencies in this country," Bedard said. Governmental risk frightens potential investors. Erik Straser of the Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Mohr Davidow Ventures, sees potential regulatory and technical issues, too. "This seems like it would be have some issues with permitting," Straser wrote in an e-mail to Wired.com. "I think that and reliability will be the key issues to deployment and efficacy." Bernitsas believes that his technology is much more environmentally friendly than other marine projects, so he’s looking forward to working with regulators. Still, the tide could be turning, no pun intended, for marine and hydrokinetic projects. The recent Wall Street bailout bill included tax credits for these projects, which could stir investor interest. For now, Bernitsas isn’t focused on large-scale production just yet. The first ready-to-use prototype, slated for splash down in the Detroit River, will be ready in about a year. "We’re where cars were 100 years ago," Bernitsas said. "Hopefully it won’t take us 100 years to get where we need to be." Images: 1. An artist’s rendering of a future VIVACE power plant. 2. A schematic of the early VIVACE prototype. Courtesy the University of Michigan. Video: Early proof-of-concept device generating electricity, which in turn powers the lightbulbs. Courtesy Vortex Hydro Power.

News Article | November 10, 2008
Site: www.zdnet.com

Get out your atlas, see if you can find Agucadoura, Portugal. Just three miles offshore there, these big metallic sea snakes are bobbing in the ever-restless waves of the North Atlantic. And they're generating electricity for over a thousand homes on shore. It now is the world's most ambitious, working wave farm for generating electricity. It is part of Portugal's national effort to become energy self-sufficient as Denmark has done since the 1970s oil crisis. Portugal is not a wealthy nation and has no coal or petroleum. So wind and water and sunshine are their favored sources of energy. Portugal is also one nation encouraging local cities to become zero emission communities. It is an Edinburgh-based firm that developed the technology. The company is Pelamis Wave Power and Portugal is their first commercial project. Here's Pelamis's website. Their original 40-million pound investment came from a variety of venture firms and utility companies. Two private firms are their clients in Portugal: Enersis and Babcock and Brown. Pelamis has projects approved for the Orkenys, Scotland, and another off the Cornwall Coast in southwestern England. Here's a diagram of what a wave farm looks like in operation: Courtesy: Pelamis Want to see a Pelamis "sea snakie" in operaton? YouTube has it.

News Article | May 12, 2011
Site: www.cnet.com

The European Union will consider whether a massive wave energy project from Scotland should receive a piece of a renewable-energy and carbon reduction project fund that could total billions of euros. The Pentland Orkney Wave Energy Resource (POWER) project was nominated this week by the U.K. government for the NER300, a fund managed jointly by the European Commission, European Investment Bank, and member states that's named after the 300 million carbon "allowances" being sold to raise the funds. If approved, funded, and built, the wave energy farm would be the largest grid-connected wave energy farm in the world, according to the Scottish European Green Energy Centre. The POWER project as currently proposed would place 24 wave energy converters from Pelamis Wave Power and 10 Oyster 3 wave energy converters from Aquamarine Power in the Orkneys off the coast of Scotland. They would tie in to the Scottish electric grid and, together, they would make up a 28-megawatt wave power farm. The Pelamis wave energy converter is a floating serpentine machine made up of multiple sealed cylinders that each contain power modules, hydraulic cylinders, and motor generators. The cylinders are connected by two-direction hinged joints. Jostling by the motion of ocean waves in relation to the hinges enables the machine to generate electricity, and transfer it by subsea cable. The submerged Oyster, meanwhile, is shaped like an oyster shell that opens and closes from wave motion. It uses that energy to pump a hydro-electric turbine back on land to produce electricity. Perhaps not surprising from the island country, the U.K. nominated five projects among its 12 bids that would place green tech in its surrounding waters: the POWER project, three projects involving tidal turbines, and a project for 10 megawatts of offshore wind turbines. The NER300 fund overall plans to invest in 34 renewable-energy projects, and eight carbon capture and storage projects. Each member country, including the U.K., will receive funding for at least one but no more than three projects each.

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