Important legal notice
Contact   |   Search   
Energy research

Homepage | News | Mission | Site map | FAQ | Links

 Eu and energy research

print version Print version

Non-nuclear energy

Selected Ocean Energy Systems Projects

Fission and radiation protection

1. Offshore Wave

  • Contract Reference: ENK5-CT-2002-00603
    Title: Marine testing and power production optimisation on a 1:4.5 scale Test Rig of the WaveDragon offshore Wave Energy Converter
    ACRONYM: WaveDragon 1:4.5

    The primary objective of the project is to establish the scientific knowledge base needed for deploying a full-scale prototype of the WaveDragon overtopping wave energy converter. This will be obtained through an on-site long-term test using a test rig with all systems installed. The scale model has an installed capacity of 20 kW corresponding to 4 MW in full-scale, and with full-turbine deployment. A power generation cost of 0.11 EUR/kWh is expected on completion of the project. This will allow for a full-scale demonstration prototype in exposed waters from 2006, and will mark the start-up of commercial exploitation. The 4 MW WaveDragon is a slack moored device which can be deployed in multiple units in a large park. This should be located in water depths greater than 20m and wherever there is sufficient wave power, such as the North Sea and the Atlantic. It will offer significant economic and environmental benefits for the EU.
    Current developments
    The main target of the WaveDragon project is the testing, in marine conditions, of a scaled model of the concept in real sea condition, to allow a detailed engineering design for a full-scale model. This, in turn, will determine the economic feasibility of such large-scale systems.

    The project has achieved its first major milestone in March 2003: the launch of the 1:4.5 scale prototype.
    The launch was a success. The Wave Dragon is now in the sea, floating perfectly well, without any inclination.
    Initial tests and simulations are to be performed in a very calm environment before re-deployment to the permanent test site. By June 2004 all turbines had been installed. The installation has survived a full year, despite several strong storms. The prototype is still in operation and many lessons have been learnt.

    Pictures and two videos can be looked at on the project web site.

    Co-ordinating institution
    Spok ApS
    DK-2200 Copenhagen N
    Start Date: 2002
    End Date: 2005
    Duration: 33 months
    Total cost: €2,629,642
    EC funding: €1,532,999
    Web site:
    Further details on CORDIS projects' database

2. Shoreline Wave

  • Contract Reference: ENK6-CT-2001-00500
    Title: Cost-efficient floating device for wave energy conversion into electricity. Phase I: Mathematical & Physical model testing
    ACRONYM: Labbuoy

    The project will test the mathematical and physical model of a new wave energy converter. This will be a floating version with the power transmission and power conversion systems mounted on a solid foundation such as a breakwater or pier. Such a design increases power output as it takes advantage of wave reflection at breakwater walls, and has a high reliability and operational safety. The central objectives of the project are:
    1) The development of reliable mathematical models for system design and load prediction. Such models should be appropriate for the different wave conditions encountered along the European coastline.
    2) Validation of the mathematical models and their verification through small-scale wave tank experiments.
    3) Elaboration of the system configuration to achieve maximum power absorption, production and reliability.
    4) Assessment of feasibility, socio-economic and environmental impacts of the technology in representative European marine conditions.
    The project has successfully built and tested a model in wave tank installation. The final report will be shortly available on CORDIS.
    Co-ordinating institution
    19th km Marathon Av.
    EL-19009 Pikermi
    Start Date: 1 January 2002
    End Date: 30 June 2003
    Duration: 18 months
    Total cost: € 800,884
    EC funding: € 540,633
    Further details on CORDIS projects' database

  • Contract Reference: JOR3-CT98-0282
    Title: Performance enhancement of OWC power equipment

    The project aims to improve the commercial viability of wave power technology, in particular of shoreline and near-shore oscillating water column-type plants. This is done in two complementary ways. The first is to reduce the unit cost of the electricity generated by improving turbine performance at no extra cost. The second is to improve the plant's integration into the grid, especially small isolated grids, where wave energy could find its first commercial application. Full-scale demonstration is an essential component of the project. A 400 kW wave energy pilot plant is located on the island of Pico, Açores, as well as on the local grid.
    The Pico, Açores plant has been in operation since October 1999.
    The final report is available on CORDIS
    Co-ordinating institution
    1 Avenida Rovisco Pais 1
    PT-1096 Lisboa
    Start Date: 1 January 1999
    End Date: 30 June 2002
    Duration: 42 months
    Total cost: € 704,389
    EC funding: € 414,389
    Further details on CORDIS projects' database

  • Contract Reference: JOR3-CT-98-0312
    Title: Islay Wave Power Plant

    The objectives of this project were as follows:
    - To construct a three-column, shoreline oscillating water column wave power device which covers a water area of 170m2.
    - To install one counter-rotating Wells turbine generator module with two generators each of 250kW capacity, with a peak electrical output of 750kW. This will accommodate pneumatic powers of 3MW in conjunction with pressure relief.
    - Grid connection and the operation of the plant as a power station during the final phase of the work. This would produce an average annual output of up to 1,800MWh with an average wave resource of 20kW/m.
    - Full plant instrumentation and monitoring of the wave-to-wire power transformation performance. This would be compared with predicted values from the mathematical and physical models.
    - To provide the information necessary to improve the design of future wave power plants, with a view to marketing the technology both in Europe and worldwide.
    The prototype plant has been built and commissioned. It has been connected to the grid since October 2000 and delivers power when required.
    The final report is available on CORDIS
    Co-ordinating institution
    The Queen's University of Belfast
    BT7 1NN Belfast
    Start Date: 1 October 1998
    End Date: 30 April 2002
    Duration: 42 months
    Total cost: € 2,503,528
    EC funding: € 1,443,000
    Further details on CORDIS projects' database

3. Tidal Current

  • Contract Reference: JOR3-CT98-0202
    Title: World's first commercial scale pilot project to exploit marine currents
    ACRONYM: Seaflow

    The primary objective of the SEAFLOW project is to develop and demonstrate the world's first commercial scale, grid-connected marine current turbine. The axial flow, horizontal axis turbine, with an expected rotor diameter of 15m, will be mounted on a single pile driven into the seabed at water depths of between 20 to 30m. The top of the pile will extend above sea level. The unit will have a capacity of about 300kW depending on local site conditions. This will provide the essential experience for the introduction of slightly larger commercial systems at a later date. A central aim is to develop the engineering expertise needed for delivering economically viable marine current turbine technology. The key technical requirements are to seek adequate reliability and durability combined with an efficient performance while keeping costs low.
    The peak capacity of the device is expected to be of the order of 300kW, based on the proposed rotor diameter and anticipated flow characteristics.
    The annual energy output of the device is expected to be of the order of 1000MWh. The project is expected to lead directly to a second phase involving the development of a full-scale demonstration of a multi-megawatt cluster of turbines. This in turn could lead to commercial exploitation of the technology within a period of about six to 10 years.
    The prototype turbine was installed in June 2004 and will be operated for 24 months.
    The final report is available on CORDIS.
    Co-ordinating institution
    IT Power
    The Manorhouse
    Lutyens Close
    RG24 8AG Hampshire
    Start Date: 1 September 1998
    End Date: 31 August 2003
    Duration: 60 months
    Total cost: €1,867,442
    EC funding: €1,058,588
    Further details on CORDIS projects' database

4. Generic

  • Contract Reference: ENK5-CT-1999-20001
    Title: Establishment of a European Thematic Network on Wave Energy
    ACRONYM: WaveNet

    The key objective of this Thematic Network is to ensure that the benefits and results from the full range of R&D activities are effectively exchanged and disseminated to a wider audience. Wave Energy R&D (R&D) is gathering pace in several EU countries, including Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK. There is increasing industry involvement and funding as well as support from the EC. Several demonstration devices are either under development or in operation. However much of this work is currently confined to national programmes.
    The Network will include members from nearly all countries with wave energy activities. Its aim will be to promote the development and deployment of wave energy devices by addressing the main barriers to implementation.
    Network members will produce 26 pieces of work ranging from reports covering a variety of subjects to new technical methodologies. The reports will cover safety issues, environmental and technical considerations including grid connection, operation and maintenance standards, and planning. Methodologies will be drafted for plant control, monitoring and structural design. Information on different devices will be disseminated through a future web-site and literature will be produced for the public, investors and industry.
    The final report is available on CORDIS, the pdf-file of the full report on the Project Website.
    Co-ordinating institution
    OX11 0RA Didcot
    Start Date: 1 April 2000
    End Date: 30 March 2003
    Duration: 36 months
    Total cost: €592,300
    EC funding: €592,300
    Web site:
    Further details on CORDIS projects' database

5. Others

  • Contract Reference: ENK5-CT-2001-00504
    Title: Power production from the osmotic pressure difference between fresh water and sea water (PRO)
    ACRONYM: Salinity Gradient Power

    Membranes especially designed for use in PRO using fresh water and sea water will be developed and tested with the aim of achieving sufficient water movement and salt retention for commercial energy production. Membranes will be developed which can ensure the necessary contact between the fluids (freshwater and seawater), minimise mass transfer resistance (concentration polarisation) and reduce frictional losses due to fluid flow. PRO commercial power production feasibility will be evaluated through observation and calculation of membrane performance, and will be supported by testing a membrane in a real freshwater/seawater environment. An existing plant performance model will be refined, and include all important unit operations.
    Membranes and modules suitable for use in salinity gradient power plants will be developed. Salinity gradient power plant construction feasibility and energy costs will be analysed.
    Co-ordinating institution
    Veritasveien 26
    P.O. Box 494
    1323 HOEVIK
    Start Date: 1 November 2001
    End Date: 31 October 2004
    Duration: 36 months
    Total cost: €3,371,285
    EC funding: €1,808,752
    Further details on CORDIS projects' database