The NEMOS Wave Energy Converter
The NEMOS Wave Energy Converter is an innovative system for generating electricity from ocean waves. The incoming energy is absorbed by an elongated floating body and transmitted to a generator by a spring-loaded belt drive. Performing its motion on a curved trajectory relative to an underwater reaction structure, the systems hydro-mechanical efficiency is far above standard technology. The system can be adjusted in size to different environmental conditions so that energy output is maximized and loads are limited. The design aims for a multi-megawatt array when deployed in energy-rich locations.
The 2019 Wave Energy Converter (WEC) prototype features a 8 x 2 m floater and a 16 m long substructure. The prototype is intended to be deployed in Ostend first, next to the NEMOS research tower that is installed on site to control and surveil the WEC trials. The prototype design marks the latest stage of the NEMOS WEC developments. This evolved standalone floating design does not require a fixed building structure like the initial NEMOS concept and thus can be realized to competitive steel to kilowatt-hour ratio.
Since 2010: Tank tests in research facilities
Comprehensive tank tests are the basis of all NEMOS wave energy development activities. Under controlled conditions, the hydro-mechanical interaction between floater and waves can be investigated in order to improve control algorithms and maximize the harvested energy.
Since 2013: Scaled tests in nearshore environment
The step from tank tests to real environmental conditions is a big one. The NEMOS team challenged its own technology over several years by carrying out scale tests in Denmark`s Limfjord. At 1:10 and 1:5 model scales, the NEMOS system exhibited high efficiency, robustness and automated operation.
Since 2016: Full scale power take-Off tests
To analyze the efficiency of the power conversion path and gain experience in assembling and operating large components, a full scale PTO test bench was installed at the University of Duisburg-Essen. The simulation data verified the theoretical power predictions.
From 2019: Large scale offshore installation
Currently the team is focussing on the installation of a large scale prototype in the North Sea. With a floater displacing more than 10m³ water and a fully equipped research station on an independent structure nearby, the system will generate enough energy to supply several households with electricity.