ENGINEERING design and analysis firm Prospect Flow Solutions (PFS), of Aberdeen, has come up with a novel way of combining wind and wave energy.
It has been studying Wave Treader, a device invented by Granite City-based renewable-energy specialist Green Ocean Energy, and says it can be effectively mounted on offshore wind turbines to generate wind and wave power from the same installation.
PFS said turbines could have the wave devices, each generating about 500 kilowatts of electricity, or enough to power 125 homes, fitted without the need for any extra structural support.
The firm, which also has offices in Derby, Houston and Stavanger, said its findings had a major impact on the economics of introducing Wave Treader to offshore wind turbines.
It added: “With no modifications required to the structure or power cables, the project becomes far more commercially viable.”
Green Ocean is now developing a full-size prototype of the device for testing next year.
PFS principal engineer Kevan Stokes said: “Prospect is very proud to be working . . . on this project as it illustrates the innovation and expertise that exists in the UK energy sector to look at new, clean and sustainable ways of power generation.”
Green Ocean managing director George Smith, Wave Treader’s inventor, said: “The specialist engineering provided by Prospect was pivotal in proving that our Wave Treader can be attached to a wind turbine without impacting on its structure. It has put us in a strong position to take our business forward.”
Prospect, which is a member of energy-sector business-development organisation NOF Energy, delivers specialist engineering knowledge and analysis to clients in the oil, gas and renewable-energy markets.