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Wave Energy Scotland launches £7m wave energy innovation call

Mon, 23 March 2015

Wave Energy Scotland today launches a £7m innovation call for the development of technology that can accelerate the progress of Power Take-Off (PTO) Systems in the wave energy industry.

​ ​Introduction to Wave Energy Scotland

This is the first open competition call of five that will be launched over the coming months by Wave Energy Scotland [www.waveenergyscotland.co.uk], Scotland's new wave energy technology development body. What makes Wave Energy Scotland unique is its long-term commitment to the sector: WES will take innovative technologies from concept to being ready for private sector investment. This will be done by providing contracts for wave energy technology development until the technical and commercial risks are low enough for the private sector to re-enter. WES anticipates that this will take up to 10 years using a technology development process that focuses on proving technology and engineering quality.

​ ​ ​ ​ ​
The open call – PTO Systems

Wave Energy Scotland's first competition call is for secondary energy conversion technology – commonly known as power take-off (PTO) systems. This competition will provide contracts for technology development projects that will:

˃ Provide a step change in the capital cost and/or efficiency/performance over current technology;

˃ Deliver a highly reliable PTO via high quality engineering and technology risk management;

˃ Deliver a PTO that can be easily integrated into different wave energy converters (WECs) and WEC device families; and

˃ Deliver a PTO that, on commercialisation, will help the wave energy sector reach a levelised cost of energy of no more than £150/MWh

The key task of the PTO is to transform the motion from the prime mover, as it reacts with itself or a fixed reaction point, and convert it into a smooth electrical output. This challenge is characterised by a number of key factors:

˃ Absorbing the oscillating input load which is typically reciprocating with a period of between 3 and 30 cycles per minute.

˃ Managing the variability in input load including extremes many times the average loads (survivability).

˃ Operating in a dynamic and aggressive marine environment.

˃ Achieving this in an affordable package taking into account efficiency, cost and reliability.

˃ Be able to be integrated into a range of devices and meet their physical (reaction geometry and space availability) as well as load requirements.

˃ In some cases applying a level of control/damping and response back to the prime mover to optimise and increase power output.

˃ Producing grid compliant electricity of up to 1MW capacity in either a single system of multiples of smaller units.

Wave Energy Scotland is seeking entries from technology entrepreneurs and established companies who maintain an operation in Europe, which will either improve existing wave energy technology or produce a completely fresh approach to generating wave power.

Entries are strongly encouraged from the marine energy sector but especially from those organisations outside the sector who believe that they have a transferable technology, from the likes of the aerospace, automotive, oil and gas or maritime sectors, and any intellectual property generated through a project supported by Wave Energy Scotland will lie with the applicant.

Qualifying technology stages

Applicants will be able to apply to Wave Energy Scotland for contracts that cover up to 100% of the cost of their technology development projects. Broadly the two areas of project development are:

˃ New technology and new technology transfer, and

˃ Significant changes in the performance of existing technologies.

Applicants will be able to apply in one of the call's four programme stages:

˃ Feasibility studies

˃ Concept optimisation/proof-of-concept projects

˃ Early stage prototype development

˃ Late stage prototype development

Projects supported by WES will be subject to rigorous technical reviews to optimise technology, drive convergence and ensure that solutions are commercially viable. The stage gate review process is an essential part of the project development programme. If a project does not meet the strict criteria at a stage gate review, it will not be funded for another stage.

How to participate in the competition.

The key dates for the call are: The key dates for the call are:

˃        Call Opens: March 19th 2015

˃        Information Webinar: 09:30 (BST, GMT+1) March 31st 2015

˃        Deadline for registrations and clarifications: 12:00 (BST, GMT+1)May 15th 2015

˃        Deadline for applications: 12:00 (BST, GMT+1) May 22nd 2015

˃        Contract award – by end of June 2015

Draft contracts will be uploaded during the first half of the call and all registered applicants will be made aware of this.

The application process will be handled via Public Contracts Scotland http://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/search/show/search_view.aspx?ID=MAR203890  . Interested parties must register with Public Contracts Scotland where they will be able to download the call documentation, ask questions and upload applications.

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