In their May 2021 issue, Ocean News & Technology highlighted Acteon’s mooring connection solution for wave energy converters.
Despite the global pandemic, wave and tidal energy projects have moved forward at pace, reaching significant funding, testing and deployment milestones over the last year. One such example is Acteon’s patented Rocksteady connection system, an auto-latching subsea structural connector that enables wave energy operators to streamline installation processes and minimize costs. Wave energy projects are, by their nature, located in challenging environments where installation operations must contend with rough seas and high winds. In these conditions, it is not feasible to install traditional pin-and-shackle connectors. Wave energy operators need simple, cost-effective systems that enable installation in rough conditions and can withstand the demands of the environment. The Rocksteady connection system is designed to meet that challenge.
Recently, Rocksteady connectors were selected for use on wave energy demonstration projects offshore Portugal and Scotland (UK), both of which will install devices in 2021. A key challenge in wave energy projects is making the electrical connection that takes power from the device to the grid and the data connection that enables the operators to control the device. Using the Rocksteady connection system, it is possible to make these connections at the same time as the mooring connection. This approach also enables same-time installation of structural integrity monitoring systems, if required. CorPower Ocean has ordered a Gen-1 Rocksteady connector for a new wave energy converter project, located in Aguçadoura, Portugal, where integration and deployment efficiency are key requirements.
Similarly, the AWS Ocean Energy Ltd Archimedes Waveswing is a submerged wave power buoy that reacts to changes in water pressure caused by passing waves and converts the resulting motion to electricity via a direct-drive generator. The first marine deployment will use a Rocksteady connector on a half-scale demonstrator unit to be installed at the European Marine Energy Centre in Scotland, UK.
The wave energy sector is in an important transition phase, during which some wave energy converter (WEC) technologies will be scaled up for full commercial operation. This presents a range of challenges, including finding efficiencies and controlling costs as the average project size increases; minimizing the environmental impact of installation projects by optimizing vessel usage; and finding ways to drive down the costs of installation in deeper water and more demanding environments.
At Acteon, we aim to help operators meet these challenges and build a marine green energy future.
The full article is available in the ON&T magazine issue (page 24-25).