On Wednesday 21 August 2019, the WAVEGEM wave energy recovery platform was installed on Centrale Nantes’ SEM-REV site, kicking off 18 months of offshore testing.
Simple and effective installation
The operation to connect the platform to its 4-point synthetic line mooring system was completed in under 6 hours with less intervention required than the norm for this kind of operation.
The four mooring lines that hold the prototype WAVEGEM® were installed by the IHES consortium over two days in July 2019 at the SEM-REV test site.
This installation demonstrates the benefits of the technology invented by GEPS Techno and the rationale behind the multi-technological nature of the offshore test site developed by Centrale Nantes for over 10 years.
The WAVEGEM® platform developed by GEPS Techno is a hybrid autonomous energy production platform which is designed to supply marine or island installations without access to the electricity grid, providing a source of electricity which respects the environment.
The platform derives its energy from waves by converting the movements of the float into electrical energy through the closed loop circulation of seawater and the conversion of this energy via a low speed turbine.
The 18 months of offshore testing will serve to confirm performance and reliability, and allow associated design tools to be calibrated. In addition, during this period, the platform will include other tests of subsystems (new generators, energy storage etc), subsystems that will thus benefit from preferential access to testing in real conditions at sea.
The platform will also be used as a showpiece, allowing future customers to better understand the characteristics of the platform and its ability to meet their needs in terms of energy production as well as to host autonomous applications.
The first target markets are the offshore oil and marine energy sector, as an auxiliary means of energy production, but also small islands in conjunction, or not, with other systems of electricity production.
The IHES Project
This project, which got off the ground in 2016, brings together 7 French partners including: Geps Techno, programme leader, which imagined, designed, built the float and the energy production system; Ifremer which conducted tank testing and the offshore test environmental survey; SNEF which installed the float and cabling; Chantiers de l’Atlantique which supervised all the construction and coordinated the logistic operations; Centrale Nantes which made its test site available; Blue Solutions of the Bolloré Group, which contributed to the storage mechanism and provided the supercapacities; ICAM Nantes which participated in the definition of the control-command systems. The project is financed by Bpifrance as part of the Investments for the Future Program, by the Pays de la Loire Region and by the European Union as part of the FORESEA program.