RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
KEY R&D INSTITUTIONS AND RELEVANT R&D PROJECTS
The Division of Electricity at Uppsala University conducts research on wave energy technology and hydrokinetic energy conversion from tidal currents and rivers. Today, the wave power research group consists of 19 PhD students and 13 senior researchers. Uppsala University operates two research sites: Lysekil wave power research site and Söderfors marine current research site. The Swedish Energy Agency is supporting some theoretical and experimental works related to the Lysekil project, as well as some theoretical work behind the Söderfors project:
The Lysekil project: During 2015, the Lysekil research site was grid connected. Further on, two WECs were deployed and operated. A new signal cable has been installed between the measurement cabin and marine substation. Preparations have been made for installation of a sonar system for marine environmental, as well as technical monitoring; a new echo-sounder is also ready to be deployed. A force measurement buoy has been installed with the purpose to measure the wave forces during storms.
Söderfors project: The Söderfors marine currents research site is located in Dalälven River and consist of a 7,5 kW vertical axis turbine with a directly driven permanent generator. It is connected to a measurement cabin on land. Preparations for grid connection are in progress.
Two new research projects have started recently financed by the Swedish Energy Agency. One is about studying and improving performance and survivability of large scale wave energy farms. The other project is about studying fish and crustaceans (ecosystem services) in relation to wave energy installation.
Söderfors project, when the marine current energy converter was being deployed
CHALMERS UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Research in marine renewables is mainly performed at the Department of Shipping and Marine Technology and at the Department of Energy and Environment. The research can be broadly divided into hydrodynamics, structures, energy conversion, environment and industrialization:
- Hydrodynamics: Chalmers are carrying out several projects in the use of nonlinear hydrodynamic simulations using CFD, fully nonlinear potential flow solver and asymptotic wave equations.
- In a recently finished project supported by the Region of Västra Götaland a method to perform coupled mooring analysis using CFD was developed. This work is extended in a project funded by the Swedish Energy Agency.
- Chalmers is partner in the MIDWEST project, approved by the OCEANERA-Net consortia, focusing on developing medium-fidelity hydrodynamic models based on Boussinesq-type wave equations and multi-fidelity optimization.
- Structural dynamics: Chalmers work in structural dynamics for wave energy applications focuses mainly on cables, both mooring cables and electrical cables.
- In a project funded by the Swedish Energy Agency, the durability of electrical cables and moorings cables used in systems for harvesting of renewable ocean energy is analysed.
- Chalmers is also partner in a Danish project (EUDP funded) that aims at designing, testing and developing cost efficient mooring solutions for large, slack moored, floating wave energy converters.
- Energy conversion: In a project sponsored by the Region of Västra Götaland and Chalmers Energy Initiative, life cycle cost analysis of the generator with its converter system is performed in order to find designs with low total cost.
- Environment: Models on fish tidal turbine collisions have been developed. The model can also be scaled up to handle arrays of turbines, making it a possible tool for marine spatial planning and management. Collaboration with the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management regarding marine ecological risk assessment (ERA) and models for marine spatial planning is ongoing.
- Marine energy resources:Research on a relatively quick method to establish the existing tidal current energy resource to identify locations for tidal energy plants has also been published.
- Industrialization: Chalmers are carrying out a project looking into policy for industrializing marine energy technologies.
Most projects are carried out in collaboration with technology companies, such as Waves4Power, Minesto and Wave Dragon.
Other relevant universities are Blekinge Institute of Technology that has supported the company Ocean Harvesting Technologies AB with development of simulation models and facilities for the test rig, as well as KTH Royal Institute of Technology that has supported the company CorPower Ocean AB.
SP TECHNICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF SWEDEN
SP applies its competence to the development and evaluation of technologies, material, products, and processes to meet its customers’ needs and provide an effective link between academic research and industry. SP consists of six business areas and several technical departments. One of many research areas are ocean energy. Some of the projects in which SP is involved in are:
- OffshoreVäst, a cluster organisation, owned by its consortium members of dedicated companies, universities, institutes and authorities. SP acts as host organisation and its main focus is to provide support for the offshore sector in Sweden through a setup of projects and strategies. SP leads and coordinates the work package concerning offshore energy production from wind, wave and current.
- Maritime Cluster of West Sweden, the maritime sector is an area of strength and therefore a prioritized area in public efforts to create innovation platforms and infrastructures. Between 2008 and 2012 the Region of Västra Götaland was financially involved in approximately 100 projects. In an attempt to strengthen the maritime development in West Sweden, the stakeholders in the innovation system have joined forces in a maritime cluster-project. The purpose of the project is to increase innovation and business development. The method used is increased contact and collaboration between the maritime business sector and research. SP leads and coordinates the work package concerning marine energy and seafood.
- Members of Ocean Energy Europe and steering group committee of TP Ocean for the ocean energy forum.
- SP is involved in two projects - OCEANIC and RiaSoR that has been approved by OCEANERA-Net consortia. The projects focus on antifouling and reliability.
- SP is at the moment involved in two projects that have received funding from the Swedish Energy Agency with focus on reliability (structural and electrical).
For 75 years SSPA Sweden has performed development in ship design and operations within the maritime sector, in close cooperation with industry and society. Several areas are related to ocean energy and SSPA has been involved in various projects in the field. SSPA's three major test facilities are also utilized in the model testing of various marine energy devices.
Together with 9 other organizations from four countries, SSPA is involved in the project Powerkite- Power Takeoff System for a Subsea Tidal Kite. The project has recently been accepted and contract signed by the European Commission. Six of the parties (Minesto, SSPA, Chalmers, MoorLink, Midroc and UW Elast) are Swedish. The project intends to develop a next generation technology of tidal and ocean current power plant. The aim is to create greater experience of operation in full scale and improve structural and power performance in the energy conversion system.