CorPower Ocean Completes Inspection and Upgrades for Commercial Scale C4 WEC

(Image credit: CorPower Ocean)

CorPower Ocean is completing post-deployment inspections and a series of planned on-land upgrades, addressing key findings from operational data collected during the successful ocean deployment phase of its commercial scale C4 WEC (Wave Energy Converter).

It follows the disconnection and retrieval of the C4 device after completing its first cycle of ocean commissioning in Aguçadoura, northern Portugal.

In recent months engineers have performed careful inspections, adjustments and upgrades to finetune the system based on the data. Upgrades have been designed to address lessons learned, and systematically improve subsystems to increase operational range, power capacity and reliability.

It comes after post-deployment inspections provided numerous insights in areas including biofouling, corrosion, robustness, and station keeping in storm conditions (*see footnotes).

Electrical data collected during operation has further informed upgrades to increase the system’s peak power capacity from the confirmed 600 kW to 850 kW by adding further capacitance to the DC-link of the electrical drivetrain and upgrading new inverters with higher voltage ratings.

In addition, sensor upgrades and calibrations have been applied to boost accuracy of measuring and predicting device motion in six degrees of freedom. Furthermore, the tidal regulator located under the C4 has been upgraded with a new grease system and improved seal/scraper solution to deliver long-term, reliable operation and protection from fouling, while upgrading drive electronics to allow equal speed of retraction and extension under load.

Moving forward, the C4 will be redeployed in Aguçadoura before engaging in a new operational phase to demonstrate full power capacity, including further advancement in control methods. When commissioning is complete, a Power Performance Assessment phase will begin in accordance with IEC/TS 62600-100 standards.

CorPower Director of Integration & Testing Jean-Michel Chauvet said: “Since the initial C4 deployment in August 2023, all key aspects of the C4 system functions have now been successfully verified, including power export to the grid, automated control and monitoring of the system as well as safe Operations and Maintenance (O&M) methods. We are nearing completion of this latest round of upgrades involving both mechanical components and software based on the first cycle of learnings made based on 2000 h of data in order to further increase power output and operational range when the device is redeployed in Aguçadoura.”

The O&M cycle was carried out at CorPower Ocean’s dedicated on-land base in Viana do Castelo.

Now proven at commercial scale, at the exposed Atlantic test site, the C4 device has already demonstrated unique ability to tune and detune according to varying sea states, limiting response to extreme storm waves (up to 18.5 m) while amplifying motion and power capture in regular waves using novel phase control technology.

The progression marks a crucial milestone for wave energy, addressing the two major obstacles that have hampered commercial adoption to date—survivability and efficient power generation in normal ocean conditions.

“We are pleased with progress made to date and look forward to the concretization of our goals for the C4 following recent upgrades,” added Mr. Chauvet: “It’s an important phase as we move towards Stage 5 of the HiWave and EU-SCORES Demonstration Project involving a CorPack wave cluster with three additional C5 devices. We are rapidly advancing in our mission to deliver a robust and efficient turnkey solution that allows our customers to generate electricity from ocean waves.”

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