Mutriku, 22 May 2017

Following the successful completion of the laboratory tests at IST University in Lisbon, Kymaner’s biradial air turbine was shipped last week for further validation under real conditions. Actually, the novel air turbine will undergo thorough testing in the Bay of Biscay, first at the Mutriku shoreline wave power plant owned by EVE, and later on a floating wave energy converter property of Oceantec at BiMEP. On its first day of testing at Mutriku, the turbine was operated at full power (30 kW).

This novel biradial turbine was completely designed and manufactured in Portugal, with a total investment value of circa €1m, and represents the culmination of the development of a patent originated in IST, protected in several countries interested in wave energy. The turbine prototype has been specifically developed under the EU project OPERA (Open Sea Operating Experience to Reduce Wave Energy Cost) to harness the highly energetic wave resource in the Atlantic coast.

The OPERA project (2016-2019) will identify and quantify the challenges in the production of wave energy to reduce the associated costs. The main objectives of the project are to validate at sea and exploit innovations that can reduce the cost of wave energy by at least 50% and test a set of innovations. The ultimate goals are to reduce the time to market of wave energy technologies, demonstrate the reliability of the solution and bring maturity and viability to the sector.

Open-sea testing of this new turbine will help validate its robustness, reliability and power performance characteristics. In particular, several advanced control algorithms will be implemented and compared. The control laws have already been customised for both Mutriku and the floating prototype and dry lab tested in Portugal, Spain and Ireland. Four research partners (IST, University College of Cork, University of Exeter and Tecnalia) provide the advanced control strategies.