Blue Power Energy was formed four years ago to develop power take off systems for wave energy devices.
While many wave power companies have successfully deployed buoys and proved their survivability in harsh marine environments, problems have occurred in the Power Take Off Units (PTOU). The PTOU is at the heart of any Ocean Energy Converter.
It is the mechanism that converts the Kinetic Energy extracted from a wave into a form where it can drive an electric generator.
Blue Power Energy have developed a new type of Power Take Off Unit (PTOU) for a wave energy device.
The concept involves converting the linear heaving motion of a wave energy buoy into rotational kinetic energy using our innovative linear /rotary gear box. The gear box drives a flywheel which then drives a standard Permanent Magnet electric generator.
Five prototypes have been built over the last 3 years with a steady improvement in the design for each one. These were tested by The Hydraulic Marine Research Centre at University College Cork. Efficiencies of up to 80% were achieved with excellent power smoothing characteristics.
We have now perfected the design and reached a stage where our PTOUs are now ready to be fitted to Wave Energy Converters. In early 2013 one of the units was incorporated into a basic design buoy which was tested at the University of Strathclyde, in Glasgow. The test tank was not ideally suited for our needs as the waves it could produce were quiet small. Despite this, we still achieve reasonable wave to wire efficiency.
In 2014 we plan to build a bigger PTOU which will be tested at UCC to determine its characteristics. We will use this information to design a new Wave Energy Buoy which will be tank tested before being sea trailed this summer.
We also plan to carry out hydrodynamic testing, at UCC, on a improved concept for a buoy which will extract energy from all six degrees of motion as opposed to 1 degree in most current designs.