7th February 2019
The ocean industries of tomorrow could be powered by small wave energy machines which also capture the power of the sun.
Wave energy pioneers Mocean Energy have secured £100,000 from Scottish Enterprise to develop an innovative wave energy converter – known as Seabase – which will power ocean sensors and communications equipment, and recharge unmanned drones of the future.
The development grant will enable the firm to assess the feasibility of building an offshore Seabase renewable energy station, which will produce energy from waves and solar panels and store it in batteries.
“The oil & gas sector is seeking ways to reduce cost and decarbonise, and already we can see increased interest in the idea of renewable-powered technologies offshore,” says company managing Director Cameron McNatt.
“We think there will be growing demand for a small machine which can provide continuous power for ocean observation equipment, particularly autonomous robots or drones.
“The use of ocean drones is rapidly increasing for activities like scientific data collection, surveying, and offshore equipment inspection, particularly in the science and oil & gas industries.
“Our Seabase technology will be around 10 tonnes with an output of 2-5kW and is designed to fit in a standard 40 ft shipping container,” McNatt says.
The Seabase project is not the only technology the Edinburgh start-up is developing. Mocean Energy is already working on £3.3 million project to develop a much larger wave energy machine, supported by Wave Energy Scotland.
However McNatt believe Seabase will be the firm’s first commercial product.
“The economics of large-scale wave power make it very challenging to develop and deploy full size machines.
“With Seabase, we are developing a technology which can meet the needs of a number of customers today,” McNatt concludes.