Innovative Method for Affordable Generation IN ocean Energy
The IMAGINE “Innovative Method for Affordable Generation IN ocean Energy” project has commenced following the award of EU Horizon2020 funding. Based on UMBRAGROUP S.p.A.’s advanced aerospace engineering, the IMAGINE project will develop and demonstrate an innovative Power-Take Off (PTO) concept for wave energy applications, the groundbreaking Electro-Mechanical Generator (EMG). The EMG is able to convert slow speed, reciprocating linear motion into electricity based on the integration of a recirculating ballscrew and a permanent magnet generator. This solution dramatically improves average efficiency, reliability and affordability compared to state-of-the-art PTOs. The solution can be applied to a wide range of wave energy device types and which will enable wave energy to successfully commercialise.
During the IMAGINE project, the EMG technology will be demonstrated through the fabrication of a 250 kW prototype and its testing on a HardWare-In-the-Loop (HWIL) bench. This will allow progressing its TRL from 3 to 5. A range of Wave Energy Converters (WECs) will be emulated on the HWIL bench and the performance of the EMG, under the action of a robust control system, will be measured and extensively assessed. Furthermore, a FMECA analysis and a subsequent accelerated life test will prove the reliability of the system. HWIL tests will allow reducing technological risk in power rating increase, providing an intermediate step between tank tests and sea trials that represents a critical transition for wave energy development. Finally, a techno-economical assessment of the EMG and a complete Business Plan for commercialization will be developed.
Such activities will be carried out by an international consortium with multi-disciplinary skills in marine energy, led by a leading-manufacturing company as UMBRAGROUP spa.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 764066.