Wave Energy Converter and Smart Subsea Hub Installed

Wello Penguin WEC 2 launched in the sea in Tallinn, Estonia (Image credit: Wello)

Finnish wave energy developer Wello Oy launched the next iteration of their Penguin wave energy converter (WEC) into the water in Tallinn, Estonia as part of the CEFOW (Clean Energy From Ocean Waves) project. The Penguin WEC2 will be towed to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, Scotland, where it will be deployed alongside Wello’s original Penguin WEC.

Funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, the CEFOW project aims to build and deploy an array of three Wello Penguins at EMEC’s grid-connected wave test site at Billia Croo on the west coast of Orkney. In November, a marine license was granted for the installation, operation and decommissioning of the three-WEC array and the subsea hub.

The first of the three Penguin WECs was successfully installed by local marine contractor Green Marine in April 2017 and has safely remained on site since then, surviving wave heights of more than 18 m. The WEC1 demonstration fed into the development of WEC2, which was built at the Netaman shipyard in Tallinn and has been optimized for power generation. 

Using dry mate connectors, a bespoke four-way smart subsea hub will connect the dynamic umbilical cables from each WEC to EMEC’s marine export cable. Power will then feed into EMEC’s onshore substation and into the national grid. The hub incorporates subsea switch gear enabling the disconnection of a single device while allowing the other two to continue generating.

Learn more about CEFOW online and the Wello technology below. 

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