Model-scale wave power plant

Test facility for a model-scale wave power plant

FuE-Zentrum FH Kiel GmbH
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christian Keindorf

The research project includes the development, construction and test operation of a wave power plant on a model scale. The test facility serves as a new energy research infrastructure with a “real laboratory” character. A linear generator in the float is used as drive concept, with which the kinetic energy resulting from the wave movement can be converted directly into electrical energy. Compared to other drive concepts, significantly fewer components are required, which also avoids multiple efficiency losses.

With the help of measurement technology, the system behavior is recorded in order to draw conclusions about the calculation methods available to date and to show potential for optimization in the yield of such a system. The site is in close proximity to the research platform FINO3, where the real environmental conditions prevail on the high seas.

The technology is still in an early stage of development without series maturity. With the test facility, this type of regenerative energy generation is to be scientifically researched in order to also train and further specialize knowledge holders in the state of Schleswig-Holstein. The country's maritime economy has special know-how for floating and submerged systems, which may result in new products and market potential. Last but not least, the long-term goal is to make a further contribution to the energy transition and climate protection with wave power plants.

The Ministry of Economics, Transport, Labor, Technology and Tourism of the State of Schleswig-Holstein is funding the LPW-E / 1.1.2 / 1345 project as part of the State Program for Economics 2014-2020 with ERDF and state funds amounting to EUR 533,368 , The grant applies for the period from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2022.

Activities and goals

With the help of measurement and control technology, it is planned to record the dynamic behavior of the test facility under real environmental conditions (sea state, current, etc.) and to draw conclusions for the calculation methods available to date. The main goal of the project is to use the measurement campaigns in the “real laboratory” to show further optimization potential for the required components in order to further increase the system efficiency.

Another goal of the development is to use as few components as possible in order to reduce efficiency losses that occur during energy conversions. Technological innovations that enable direct drive via a linear generator are to be researched. Last but not least, technical reliability is an important criterion for long-term operation in a harsh environment on the high seas. This requires technical innovations for the robustness and durability of the components (e.g. for the submerged condition with extreme waves).

The wave power plant as a research infrastructure is intended to show that CO2 can be saved further in the energy sector through innovative technologies. Significant CO2 savings are only achieved through standard application, e.g. in offshore parks, expected. The technology can be used worldwide and offers not only islands a regenerative energy supply for the future, but all countries with coastal areas.