CorPower Ocean is nearing the end of its scheduled on-land inspection and upgrades for its commercial scale wave energy device, C4. This follows a successful initial ocean deployment and commissioning phase.

After completing its first cycle in Aguçadoura, northern Portugal, the C4 device was retrieved for detailed inspections and enhancements. Engineers have been working on improving the system based on operational data from the first 2000 hours of use.

The inspections provided insights into biofouling, corrosion, robustness, and storm condition resilience. Electrical data revealed potential upgrades to boost the system’s peak power capacity from 600kW to 850kW. This includes adding capacitance to the DC-link of the electrical drivetrain and upgrading inverters with higher voltage ratings.

Additionally, sensor upgrades have been implemented to enhance motion measurement accuracy. The tidal regulator beneath the C4 has been fitted with a new grease system and improved seal to ensure reliable operation and protection from fouling. Drive electronics have also been upgraded to balance retraction and extension speeds under load.

The C4 device will be redeployed in Aguçadoura for further operational testing, aimed at verifying the upgrades, including increased peak power capacity and advanced control methods. Following this, a Power Performance Assessment will be conducted in line with IEC/TS 62600-100 standards.

Director of Integration & Testing for CorPower Ocean, Jean-Michel Chauvet, commented: “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 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 2000h of data, in order to further increase power output and operational range when the device is redeployed in Aguçadoura.”

The O&M cycle was conducted at CorPower Ocean’s on-land base in Viana do Castelo. Proven at commercial scale in the Atlantic test site, the C4 has shown it can adapt to different sea states, minimizing response to extreme storm waves while enhancing power capture in regular waves through phase control technology.

This progress is significant for wave energy, addressing survivability and efficient power generation challenges. Chauvet added: “We are pleased with progress made to date and look forward to the concretization of our goals for the C4 following recent upgrades. 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.”

CorPower Ocean
Inspection of the C4 wave energy device