Getting hooked on wave power

Wave Power 4

Aquaculture is an iconic and increasingly important industry in Scotland, worth an estimated £1.4bn to the Scottish economy and employing 8,000 people. Currently for onsite electricity supply the industry relies heavily on diesel to generators, however, the marine environment presents an opportunity to replace this with renewable electricity.

One company seeking to exploit this potential is Albertan, a developer of a small wave energy device called a SQUID. Each SQUID unit comprises a hollow central riser tube connected to 3 buoyancy floats by linking arms. The connections between these are made by six articulated pumping modules. The buoyancy floats also have hollow structures, allowing them to house the PTO (Power take-off unit) along with other components for communications and hydraulic operation.


Wave power 2

When interconnected as an array the ocean’s energy pushes and pulls the array’s structure; each SQUID unit’s articulated joints flex, absorb some of the wave’s energy.


In collaboration with Marine Harvest (Scotland), Albatern deployed a three unit WaveNET array on marine Harvest’s new Am Maol salmon farming site off the Isle of Muck off the west coast of Scotland. The 22 kW deployment is also helping with the testing and validation of the device. As there are already vessels in the area servicing the fish farm, the cost of deployment, maintenance and monitoring is brought down. Additionally, small developments like that for the Muck fish farm can come within the existing seabed lease for the fish farm, counting as ancillary equipment, the project costs and lead in time are also reduced. These factors combine to reduce the costs attached with wave developments; which is good news for an industry which has recently experienced setbacks.


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