Wave Power

WavePOD prototype produces first power

wavepodThe vision of a standardised offshore electricity generator for the wave industry reached a significant milestone this week when the WavePOD prototype produced its first power in laboratory tests.

The tenth-scale WavePOD was officially switched on by David Waldron, Bosch Rexroth’s UK Business Manager for Machinery Applications and Renewables, to mark the start of the test programme at the world-leading Institute for Fluid Power Drives and Controls (IFAS) at RWTH Aachen University, Germany.

The prototype, which comprises a drive train, cylinder frame and power take off, has been developed by Bosch Rexroth and Aquamarine Power as part of a collaboration including some of Europe’s leading wave energy developers, utilities and academic institutions. The goal is to develop an industry-wide power take off that will generate electricity reliably and cost-effectively at sea.

“We have already learned a tremendous amount through the design, build and commissioning of this WavePOD prototype,” says Aquamarine Power Chief Executive Officer John Malcom. “We are now generating electrical power, and the drive train is using real-life hydrodynamic data from Oyster 800 to ensure the power take off is experiencing exactly the same loads it would encounter at sea.

 “We aim to finish lab testing by March next year and plan to install a further prototype in real sea conditions on our Oyster 800 machine in Orkney in 2016,” Malcom concludes.

The WavePOD prototype development and testing programme receives funding support from the Scottish Government’s Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund (MRCF), managed by the Carbon Trust.

Consortium partners include project founders Aquamarine Power and Bosch Rexroth, along with wave technology developers Albatern, Carnegie Wave Energy UK and M4 WavePower. It also includes Irish utility ESB, the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, IFAS and University College Dublin’s Energy Research Centre.

Aquamarine Press Release 19th November 2014

Aquamarine Power training scheme gains seal of approval

Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) re-accredits scheme for the professional development of engineers

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) has given Aquamarine Power’s graduate training scheme the seal of approval – re-accrediting the wave company’s professional development programme which leads towards Chartered Engineers (CEng) or Incorporated Engineers (IEng) registration.

Oyster 800 in fabrication yard from the air _1 - Photo by Cyberhawk InnovationsIn what is now the fourth year of the scheme, the Institution’s assessors noted that Aquamarine Power’s engineers are being given varied and technically stimulating projects which are “…challenging from start to delivery, and their nature means they gain exposure to other disciplines such as civil, electrical, hydraulics and control and instrumentation in a variety of settings.”

The scheme has been running since 2009, and was first accredited at the end of 2010. The programme is now accredited until 2017.

Commenting on the scheme, Aquamarine Power Chief Engineer Donald Naylor said:

“Our graduates get an incredible range of learning opportunities, from wave tank research, through design and manufacturing, to being on a dive boat in Orkney, supervising work on Oyster 800; and we now have three engineers who have taken part in the programme go on to achieve full chartered status.

“Oyster covers a wide range of technology areas, including geotechnical, structural, mechanical engineering, marine operations, naval architecture, hydraulics systems, control and instrumentation and electrical power systems.

“We aim to have a 1:1 ratio of mentors (who are chartered engineers) to graduate engineers, and put a strong emphasis on training, with up to ten days per year dedicated to professional development.

“We are a small, tight-knit team where we all work hard with the goal of changing the way electricity is made,” Naylor concludes.

For details on working with Aquamarine Power, please visit:

Wave Energy Company Aquamarine Power Recruitment Drive

Ten positions to be filled

The Oyster 800 being installed at Billia Croo, OrkneyWave energy company Aquamarine Power has launched a recruitment drive to support the next phase of developing their Oyster wave energy technology.

The Edinburgh firm, which is currently testing its Oyster 800 full-scale wave machine at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, is seeking eight experienced engineers to join their core engineering, design and project team, together with an operations technician based in Orkney and a research fellow to work at the company’s academic base in Queen’s University Belfast.

“These are exciting times for our company,” says company Chief Executive Officer Martin McAdam. “This summer we went through an extensive refit of our Oyster 800 machine which has yielded very positive results and we are now looking to further improve the machine’s reliability and durability, and begin the design of our next-generation Oyster 801.

“To do this we need skilled, experienced engineers to join what is already a tremendously enthusiastic and talented team. We have made no secret of the challenges involved in making machines that can harness the enormous power in ocean waves, and what we need now are technically strong individuals who can bring experience from other fields to help us in our quest.

“Each job offers a genuine opportunity to make a difference and change forever the way our future energy is made,” McAdam concludes.

In addition to their test site at EMEC in Orkney, the Edinburgh firm has gained all consents to develop a 40MW wave farm off the Isles of Lewis, which would require up to 50 Oyster wave energy machines.

All jobs are permanent positions and come with a package of benefits including company pension and healthcare.

Aquamarine Power’s backers include electricity utility SSE and ABB, one of the world’s largest power and automation companies.

For full details of the positions advertised, please visit:

 About Aquamarine Power

Aquamarine Power’s Oyster wave power technology captures energy in near-shore waves and converts it into clean sustainable electricity. In simple terms, Oyster is a wave-powered pump which pushes high pressure water to drive a conventional onshore hydro-electric turbine.

Aquamarine Power’s shareholders include the UK’s leading generator of renewable electricity SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy), global power and automation company ABB and Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Government’s enterprise agency.


EMEC To Support Development of Singapore Marine Energy Test Site

EMECAn international collaboration agreement has been signed between the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) based in Orkney, Scotland, and the Energy Research Institute at Nanyang Technological University (ERI@N), Singapore, to support further development of the marine renewable energy industry in Southeast Asia.

EMEC – the world’s first and leading facility for wave and tidal energy converters – will advise the University on the setup of scale test facilities in Singapore; offering a different climate and sea conditions to EMEC’s own scale test sites in Orkney.

A memorandum of understanding was signed in Singapore on 1 November 2013 by Stuart Baird, EMEC’s operations director, and Professor Subodh Mhaisalkar, Executive Director of ERI@N, after Mr Baird spoke at the Asia Future Energy Forum, part of Singapore International Energy Week.

Scottish Government’s Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, Fergus Ewing has commended the agreement: “This is the latest in a number of agreements that have been established by EMEC not just in Southeast Asia but in Oregon, USA; Nova Scotia, Canada; China; South Korea; Japan; and Taiwan.

“With the signing of this memorandum of understanding, we are seeing yet another region opening up for the marine energy market.  It is a further example of Scotland’s impressive global reach.  We will continue to look beyond our borders to promote Scottish marine energy expertise and know-how, and to develop partnerships with businesses, research institutes and governments around the world.”

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, EMEC’s experience in the development and operation of a marine energy test facility is unrivalled, and its expertise is highly sought after across the globe.

Stuart Baird, operations director said: “We’re delighted to be working with Nanyang Technological University, who already have a range of projects to promote and advance the research, development and deployment of sustainable technologies in one of the world’s most experienced maritime areas.

“Being the first facility of its kind in the world, EMEC has racked up some tremendous learning over the last ten years as we’ve developed and expanded our facilities and services to fit the needs of a nascent industry. It’s been a fruitful yet challenging journey, and one which other countries can learn from as they develop their own wave and tidal test centres.”

KOH Eng Kiong, programme director at ERI@N said: “With the cutting-edge EMEC facilities and its achievements, cooperation with EMEC will be very beneficial in boosting the development of international markets and common standards. With NTU’s strong expertise in sustainability research and its strategic location in Singapore which acts as a gateway to Southeast Asia, this collaboration will also bring about the best between East and West.”

This is the fifth partnership EMEC have made in Asia, having signed similar agreements with the Ocean Energy Association of Japan, Ocean University of China, Incheon Metropolitan City in South Korea and National Taiwan Ocean University. EMEC has also formed strategic alliances with The Fundy Ocean Energy Centre in Nova Scotia, Canada, and the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Centre in Oregon, USA.

EMEC’s newly appointed commercial director, Oliver Wragg commented: “It’s important that we work with other countries around the world to ensure there is a global market waiting for our clients who are testing devices in Orkney today. With 14 full-scale test berths, and facilities for smaller scale demonstration, we continue to look at ways in which we can provide for our current and future customers both in Orkney and across the globe.”



EMEC – European Marine Energy Centre


Oyster 800 wave energy machine ‘back in operation’

Martin Mcadam wiht the Oyster i the backgroundAquamarine Power’s Oyster 800 wave energy machine is back in operation following the completion of a comprehensive improvement programme which took place over the summer.

The machine has now been de-ballasted and is clearly visible operating at the company’s site at Billia Croo, part of the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.

The Oyster 800 improvement programme involved shutting down the near shore wave energy machine to carry out improvements in five specific areas – with the overall goals of improving performance, reliability and availability of Aquamarine Power’s second full-scale device.

“The product improvement programme has been extremely challenging but has resulted in an even better Oyster 800,” says Aquamarine Power Chief Executive Officer Martin McAdam.

“We have just completed a huge programme of work over the summer period. I think someone referred to the programme as major heart surgery. I think that that is an exaggeration but we swapped out a large number of failed or non-functioning components

“The machine’s survivability is already well proven. It has operated through two winters, enduring massive storms. The downside is that several of the systems and components on Oyster were just not fit for purpose. Our Product Improvement Programme (PIP) allowed us to focus on those areas which were just not up to the job, such as cabling, connectors, accumulators and several of the components of the control and instrumentation system. We also had some failures in the valve and pipework systems.

“We exported our first power since the refit last week and we are now running through phased testing and building up our electricity exports.  We can already see a marked improvement in Oyster 800 performance. Of course we have had some additional start-up issues, we would be naïve to assume that all will work perfectly since the PIP.

“The most important part of the Oyster 800 programme has been the learning. Failures can be frustrating but they are not all bad, they are opportunities to learn and we have done a lot of learning

“The team at Aquamarine Power have given the programme an extraordinary level of commitment. I am very proud and grateful to them all. I am also very pleased with the financial support from our key investors ABB, SSE and Scottish Enterprise. The support from many of our key suppliers is also appreciated – especially those in the local community in Orkney including Leask Marine and Hamnavoe Engineering.

“We have not completed anything yet – we have just started. We have a full-scale research platform in Oyster 800 and before we build our next generation machine we need to learn a lot more,” McAdam concludes.