TWO Edinburgh tech firms have secured a £2.5 million grant to trial a prototype designed to turn wave power into cost-effective electricity.

The Quantor device developed by Artemis Intelligent Power and Quoceant uses digital displacement hydraulics to “tame the massive but slow and erratic power output of wave energy machines”.

Funding from Wave Energy Scotland will allow them to build and demonstrate a hybrid power transmission on a laboratory test rig, with the trial set to examine how the wave energy converter responds to a range of real sea conditions.

Loading article content

Niall Caldwell, managing director of Artemis, said: “We believe our system is a fundamental advance in capturing the mechanical power generated by renewable sources.”

Artemis, which has been wholly-owned by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries since 2010, already uses similar technology to power what is believed to be the world’s largest floating offshore wind turbine, located 20 kilometres offshore of Fukushima in Japan. The Quoceant team pioneered the Pelamis wave energy converter off Orkney while working for the now defunct Pelamis Wave Power.

Ross Henderson, project lead at Quoceant, said: “This project will benefit from the Quoceant team’s previous experience designing and operating state-of-the-art PTO systems for the Pelamis wave energy converter.

“The fundamental Quantor concept is both scalable and adaptable to many different proposed wave energy converters.”