Norwegian renewable energy firm Langlee Wave Power has developed a new mooring system based on proven fish farm technology to drive down supply chain costs.
The mooring system is set to deliver efficiency savings for Langlee’s 50 kW E1 Wave Energy Converter and allow easy installation of a linked array of multiple units which can provide several megawatts of power.
Langlee Wave Power revealed the groundbreaking system yesterday (Tuesday 27 September) at the Latin America Marine Energy conference in Chile.
Langlee founder and CEO Julius Espedal explained: “Using proven fish farming technology helps to drive down associated supply chain costs and create a much more efficient mooring system. Fish farming has a 30 year track record with similar components that we can adapt for wave energy, but one fifth of the costs compared to the oil and gas sector. The mooring system can be easily installed, leaving an array to be filled with the required number of E1 units which are connected by four mooring lines.”
The new mooring system, designed to withstand a 100 year wave, will allow the units to be closer together which makes them more stable in a surge and increases power efficiency. Langlee can also utilise off the shelf electrical cable used in fish farming rather than a bespoke design that would cost more and take longer to deliver.
Mr Espedal added: “There are also many benefits in adopting a fish farming approach to maintenance where we can simply de-ballast the hull, bringing the whole system to the surface where it can be maintained on a barge without disconnecting the cable or mooring lines. This delivers further cost savings to other wave technologies by eliminating the need to tow to shore or use divers or remotely operated vehicles.”
Mr Espedal, a qualified mechanical engineer, set up Langlee Wave Power in 2006 with the vision of delivering commercially viable wave power. The Langlee E1 is a floating structure which uses horizontal wave movements, harnessing it into energy set around a simple steel tubular structure.
An array featuring 20 E1 units would provide 1 MW which would produce 4 GWh pr year, enough to power around 1,000 homes. This is approximately twice the annual production of a 1MW wind turbine, due to the stability of waves and the efficiency of the Langlee system.
Small island communities often rely on diesel generators for power, and the Langlee E1 is proving a viable alternative in these situations. Langlee Wave Power has signed a license agreement with Turkish partner Unmaksan, part of the Altintas Group, for a 600kW test unit off Turkey and also entered a collaboration agreement with Tangaroa Energy to help power New Zealand’s remote Stewart Island.
The modules are lightweight and designed for serial production and lap up wave movement through large water wings. These move in opposite directions providing optimal power efficiency which is converted into electricity through generators.