The RePOWER (Reinforced Polymers for Wave EneRgy) consortium aims to assess the use of reinforced polymers as the prime mover of point absorber wave energy converters (WECs). The project brings together leading WEC developers (CorPower Ocean AB and Carnegie Wave Energy Ltd.), an independent engineering design team (Cruz Atcheson Consulting Engineers, Arup Consulting Engineers and DNV GL) and materials & manufacturing experts (National Composites Centre), to complete front-end engineering design (FEED) studies that can assess the technical and economic viability of using reinforced polymers as a key structural material in WEC design.
A de-risking approach will be followed by the RePOWER consortium, defining and reducing uncertainties in the integration of reinforced polymers in the WEC design process. A detailed design methodology for load and structural analysis of WECs (following the WES Structural Forces and Stresses Landscaping Study) will be implemented to analyse the use of reinforced polymers in WEC prime movers. Design iterations will be considered to refine the structural design and minimise the potential for significant over-design of the structure. This global design approach ensures a full investigation of the material in a representative WEC environment and will be key in assessing material structural performance and device survivability. A cost model encompassing all the variables of the LCOE will be developed, leading to a definitive assessment of the material readiness and attractiveness while addressing step changes in CAPEX, OPEX and AEP.
A vast amount of key design / analytical questions will be addressed in one single project – with the potential to influence multiple Stage 2 / 3 projects. Finally, and by applying the findings to advanced concepts (high TRL), it is anticipated that the RePOWER consortium will accelerate the cost reduction of technologies capable of making a short to medium term impact in Scotland.