We reported early in March the installation of the largest wave energy device in Scotland, and recent results show that it is much more efficient than previously thought. Ocean Power Technologies has released recent readings on the electrical output of the newest PowerBuoy model.
OPT originally rated the PowerBuoy PB150 at 150 kW, which it believes is enough power for commercial-scale power generation worldwide. When it was deployed in April for testing, the results showed that it outperformed expectations considerably. Over the course of two months, the turbine has generated between 45 kW during low tide to 400 kW during violent storms, and it is believed that with a couple more months of testing on the horizon the PB150 power generation is on track to average out at 150 kW.
On-board equipment replicates grid-connection to make sure that the PB150 is subjected to full operational testing and shows that energy conversion efficiency is very high even during irregular wave conditions. This information is extremely pertinent not just for Scotland, but also for the deployment of more PB150s around the world. Since its deployment, the PB150 has remained on site and any future maintenance can be done on site without the need for relocation, reducing overall operational costs.
The installation of the PB150 looks to offer more than just power generation for Scotland. It may also opens up the door for many other countries who might otherwise have thought wave power was pointless due to low waves or too many storms.