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  • Writer's pictureCharles Taylor

AWS Ocean Energy from Concept to Sea

Charles Taylor, Quoceant Director and co-founder, shares his experience of working to support AWS Ocean Energy on their Waveswing development programme.

I started working with our client, AWS Ocean Energy, in late 2016, at the start of their journey through the Wave Energy Scotland funded Novel Wave Energy Converter programme. Since then, I have been fortunate enough to be part of the engineering development process of the Waveswing across all stages; from feasibility and concept design to detailed design, build and demonstration. As a consultant, I often focus on one stage, or one detail of a project so getting to be part of the full project cycle from drawing board to demonstration always brings added satisfaction.

photo of the AWS Waveswing buoy taken underwater and looking up towards the sea surface
AWS Waveswing undergoing tests: Image courtesy of AWS Ocean, Photo Credit: Scapa Technical /Alfik Shorebase Services

AWS Ocean’s Waveswing is a 16kW prototype, weighing 50 tonnes, and is 7m tall and 4m in diameter. It is a submerged spar buoy which works by reacting to changes in the pressure caused as waves pass by. This iteration of the design is focused on remote power applications such as subsea oil fields and oceanographic monitoring equipment.

Our involvement in the AWS project spanned a variety of specialties including input into power take-off systems, environmental control, structural hull design and analysis, and the O&M planning and availability analysis. Quoceant worked with AWS Ocean Energy and their other sub-contractors to approach the design in a risk managed way, following DNV codes and standards. Design assumptions were where possible confirmed by Finite Element Analysis or OrcaFlex simulations (both of which we can do in house) and AWS carried out a series of tank tests which we supported.

Photo of the waveswing buoy arriving on road transport at the quayside with lifting straps ready in place to offload. Five personnel stand nearby in orange jackets and hard hats
Waveswing being offloaded at Coplands dock. Image courtesy of AWS Ocean Energy, Photo Credit: Colin Keldie

The prototype device was built and commissioned in Malin Marine’s fabrication yard in Glasgow in 2021. It was then transported to Orkney where it began testing at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in April 2022.

Charles Taylor is a Director and co-founder of Quoceant. A chartered mechanical engineer, Charles has broad structural and mechanical engineering expertise, including in depth knowledge of fabrications, castings, hydraulic cylinders, bearings and environmental sealing systems. Charles has worked on a range of cutting-edge marine energy projects including the design of a cable management system for tidal energy, structural design for wave and tidal developers, and build and test of a novel quick connection system.


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