MHK Technologies/European Pico Pilot Plant

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European Pico Pilot Plant.jpg

Technology Profile
Primary Organization Wave Energy Centre
Project(s) where this technology is utilized MHK Projects/OWC Pico Power Plant
Technology Resource
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Technology Type
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Oscillating Water Column
Technology Readiness Level
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TRL 4: Proof of Concept
Technology Description A bottom mounted shoreline oscillating water column structure equipped with a horizontal axis Wells turbine generator set and a guide vane stator installed on each side of the rotor Control options are facilitated by a relief valve presently a slow acting valve with plans to substitute a fast acting mechanism in the wave chamber

Mooring Configuration Bottom mounted surface piercing shoreline device embedded on one side into a gully on rocky seabed Water surface area covered is approximately 150 m2 The device has space for two turbine ducts of which the second is unoccupied and available for installing a modular turbine test bed
Optimum Marine/Riverline Conditions Approximately Hs 2 5m and Te 10s However due to technical difficulties excessive vibrations in the turbo generation group that were inherited from the origins of the project 1990s rated power could never be yielded Rotational speed has had to be limited to 1100rpm in the beginning rated speed is 1500 later improvements allowed to yield 1300rpm By summer 2009 it is expected to yield 1450rpm as maximum operational speed generator limited after final improvements
Technology Dimensions
Length (m) 20
Width (m) 14
Height (m) 22
Freeboard (m) 15
Draft (m) 7
Technology Nameplate Capacity (MW) 400kW
Device Testing
Lab Test •The plant was tested at two different tank testing scales LNEC Portugal 1 30 and HMRC Ireland 1 25 of which the first included a modelling of the entire bottom and onshore topology
Full-Scale Test •Since its recovery project from 2004 2006 conducted by WavEC the Pico OWC has been generally operational however with interruptions In spite of lack of financial means WavEC has since then introduced gradually substantial improvements whose objective is near rated power and autuonomous operation by the end of 2009

Relevant Technical Publications •Brito-Melo, A. ; Neumann, F. and Sarmento, A.J.N.A. "Full-scale Data Assessment in OWC Pico Plant", Proc. 17th Int Offshore and Polar Eng Conf, ISOPE, Lisbon, Portugal, July 2007

A field campaign on underwater noise of Pioc OWC operation (in particular towards potential interference with marine mammals) has been initiated within the National research project WEAM. n/a - some studies on airborne noise have been initiated, yet without funding therefore still rudimental. Extensive benthos and marine life studies were proposed in 2008 by WavEC, however did not receive funding. Yet on halt. F. Neumann, V. Winands, A.J.N.A. Sarmento, "Pico Shoreline OWC: status and new perspectives", 2008 Brest, France , Jah, Alok, "Tidal Turbine begins Feeding Power to the Grid", The Guardian (newspaper), London, July 18, 2008

Date Submitted 9/28/2010

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