Ramboll was asked to investigate the feasibility of replacing steel with composites as the primary structural material for Aquamarine Power’s second generation Oyster wave power device.
Oyster wave power technology is designed to capture the energy in nearshore waves through the oscillatory motion of a buoyant, hinged flap attached to the seabed at around 10m depth. The flap drives hydraulic pistons which push high pressure water onshore to drive a conventional hydro-electric turbine.
The key benefits of the Oyster system are:
- Accessibility – All electrical equipment is onshore, while the Oyster device is nearshore
- Scalability – Multiple devices feed one onshore generator
- Adaptability – Onshore generator unit can be replaced with a Reverse Osmosis plant for desalination
- Applicability – Almost unlimited number of suitable locations for deployment
Ramboll carried out a comprehensive, bottom up investigation into the possible use of composite materials in the design of the flap, starting anew at the concept design stage.
Ramboll did not limit itself to replacing like with like, but considered all elements from large scale design changes to manufacturing processes and durability issues.
Ramboll has since been asked to carry out further work, carrying out detailed design and structural analysis of the end-caps of the Oyster flap using composite materials.