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Largest waves ever measured at Cornwall's energy wave site

By WBCraig  |  Posted: February 24, 2014

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Alex Whatley, FaB Test operations manager pictured at the Fab Test site in Falmouth Bay.

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A NEW energy test site in Cornwall experienced the biggest waves ever recorded during the recent storms.

Falmouth’s marine renewable energy test site FabTest regularly measures waves in excess of five metres (16 feet).

During the recent winter storms, the site measured a new maximum wave height of 8.75m (30 feet) at the 2.8km squared site in Falmouth Bay.

The waves, during January and February, were the largest since records began in 2012.

Dr Alan Taylor. Project Manager, Fred. Olsen Wave Energy Project commented: “The recent extreme weather conditions at the FaBTest – which are by far the most severe since we commenced testing in March 2012 – have underlined the usefulness of this facility as a trials and development location and as a key part of the UK research infrastructure.

“From a technology developer’s viewpoint, this facility has allowed us to demonstrate continued electrical generation of our device in a real world storm situation, but in an extremely accessible and technically well supported environment.”

Dr Lars Johanning, FabTest project manager for University of Exeter, said: “The events proved again that the site offers a combination of both shelter from prevailing wind and swell direction, enabling the high levels of accessibility to deployed devices required for device development, yet giving exposure to significant sea states allowing to generate significant electricity.

“This unique feature of the test site is elementary in the development of the marine energy sector, and an important selling point for the SW.”

The winter storms acutely impacted the South West yet have also highlighted Cornwall’s natural resources. As a result of the recent severe weather conditions, the South West has seen uplift in enquiries specifically relating to wave power from a number of different countries, including Scandinavia and Australia.

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