MPS Commissions Powerbuoy ahead of WaveSub Installation at FaBTest

Marine Power Systems (MPS) has successfully completed the assembly and commissioning of its PowerBuoy, a grid simulator device designed to operate alongside its quarter scale prototype WaveSub wave energy converter. The assembly and commissioning of the PowerBuoy, which took place in Falmouth, Cornwall, will enable MPS to move forwards with its testing of the WaveSub and to analyse the device’s energy generational capacity across a broad range of sea states.

Designed by MPS with support from British and Irish contractors including LCF Marine , FibaformSevernSubseaSeawide Services and MJR, the PowerBuoy will be connected to the WaveSub by a power umbilical. The PowerBuoy will act as a grid simulator during testing at FaBTest, capable of recording and collating key data sets, transmitting them back to shore for analysis as well as allowing the device to be remotely operated from shore.

A Wave Data Buoy, also deployed at the FaBTest site, will relay information on the current sea state to the MPS team on shore. This will allow MPS to make valued comparisons of power output from actual sea states with advanced modelling simulations from desk-based studies and tank testing data. The data from the Wave Data Buoy will also inform the location within the water column for WaveSub to be manoeuvred, to optimise power-generation.

Sebastian Perry, Test Engineer at MPS commented: “The PowerBuoy will play a critical role during this next phase of WaveSub testing by enabling us to optimise the WaveSub position in the water column remotely and to harvest data on the WaveSub’s power output response. We’re delighted that the assembly and commissioning of the PowerBuoy has been completed and look forward to the testing ahead of us.”

For the last decade, MPS has developed the WaveSub using more than £5m of funding secured through private investment and highly competitive grants. MPS believe that with continued support and investment, wave energy will become a significant player in the UK renewables market, offering a competitive price for energy as well as enabling the UK government to reach its legally binding low carbon commitments. The UK wave energy sector is currently world leading and in a recent Catapult report was predicted to be worth a net cumulative benefit to the UK of £4billion, employing over 8,000 people by 2040.

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