The CCell wave energy converter consists of a curved oscillating paddle hinged at the seabed, which moves with the waves to create power, used to restore coral reefs.
The wave energy converter is installed in nearshore marine environments in a water depth of 4m – 5m.
The novel curved design is intrinsically strong and hydrodynamically efficient as it channels the waves towards a strong central core to drive a hydraulic piston.
Consequently, it is 80, partly because the paddle is made from composite fibreglass materials.
The power from the waves is transformed into electricity through the power-take-off (PTO) system.
Most of this electricity is used in an electrolytic process to grow coral reefs at accelerated rates from natural minerals in the seawater.
While excess power can be used to support local microgrids.
This project is aimed at monitoring and improving the thermal regulation within the PTO.
This will allow the CCell technology to be widely adopted without failing due to overheating and to be operated safely.
The PTO assembly is the most complex part of the CCell technology, bringing together multiple components within a small waterproof space, including hydraulic valves and pumps, electrical generators and electronics.
Currently, the PTO relies on air circulation within the system to transfer heat from the components to the shell of the pipe, where it is cooled by the surrounding water.
However, the effectiveness of this is unknown.
The deployment sites for CCell are in areas with higher water temperature, such as the Mayan Riviera in Mexico where the water temperature can reach 35oC.
In conjunction with large waves from hurricanes that pass through the Caribbean, which are powered by high water temperatures, there is an increased likelihood of the system overheating.
This project will allow Zyba, in collaboration with NPL to achieve the following objectives: determine the safe working limits of the PTO in any given water temperature; provide and demonstrate accurate methods to measure the temperatures within the system during extreme events or under extreme external temperatures; and determine the extent of additional cooling needed in expected operating conditions.
Overall, this project will enable Zyba to have confidence in the CCell power-take-off system, critical to the generation of renewable electricity.
Additionally, it will enable Zyba to make informed decisions regarding built-in monitoring and intelligent maintenance scheduling: making the system both efficient and cost-effective.