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Pioneering technology for Wave Hub project passes its first big test

By West Briton  |  Posted: October 11, 2012

The wave tank at Plymouth University

The wave tank at Plymouth University

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THE FIRST commercial test of cutting-edge technology that could be used at Hayle's Wave Hub was a success, it has been revealed.

The test, on the wave energy device, was carried out at Plymouth University's new wave tanks in the Coastal, Ocean and Sediment Transport laboratory.

The experiment simulated extreme conditions on the device, which was developed by Offshore Wave Energy Ltd (OWEL) and IT Power Ltd.

It is part of a £5 million Technology Strategy Board project, which it is planned will be deployed off the coast of Hayle at the Wave Hub, in 2013.

Ned Minns, the company's chief technology officer, said the data from the test would be used to "refine the hull design and will deploy our machine with confidence in its ability to survive the extremes of the marine environment".

Hayle's Wave Hub acts as a connector for devices generating electricity from waves and is seen as having a major part to play in the UK's green future.

Energy devices, such as the OWEL technology, can be plugged into the hub, which is connected to the National Grid onshore by an underwater cable.

The three-week long test on the OWEL device was designed and conducted by Peter Arber, a marine renewable energy specialist at the university. He said: "This testing is vital to the effective design and optimisation of wave energy converters prior to installation offshore."

The £19 million marine building at the university will be officially opened on October 30.

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