Centre for Renewable Energy at Dundalk IT - WASP Buoy
SmartBay recognises that a key element in achieving Ireland’s goal of harnessing the country’s abundant marine renewable energy resource is the trial and demonstration of ocean energy technologies in real sea environments. The test facilities at SmartBay Marine and Renewable Energy test site offers developers the chance to test their technology at sea with the added support services and infrastructure to make the experience as effective as possible. An example of the type of research and development activities taking place at the test site is summarised below.
In early February, the Centre for Renewable Energy at Dundalk IT (CREDIT) deployed their WASP (Wave power activated Sensor) buoy at the SmartBay Marine and Renewable Energy Test Site. The research project was funded by the National Infrastructure Access Programme (NIAP) 2016 and the project aims to develop a low-cost, wave-powered sensor buoy to measure local sea wave conditions. The buoy may also be used as a platform for further sensing equipment, such as air or water quality.
The prototype buoy, is in it’s first phase of a multi-phase prototype development process. The WASP uses a novel, pressure-based method for measuring sea-states, a technique which has been proven at wave tank model scale. The current, proof-of-concept, device makes use of state-of-the-art sensing, recording and communication equipment however one of the aims of the project is to develop a low-cost alternative to what is commercially available. Therefore in phase two, the team will re-instrument the buoy with a number of low-cost, low-power alternatives. Then during phase three of the development process, the wave-powering aspects of the project will be progressed as it is intended to use air pressure to drive a pneumatic turbine to generate electrical power to recharge the on-board batteries.
For more information see: www.credit.ie
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