Industry News Startup develops top-modern wave power plant
The startup Nemos aim to capture energy from wind waves in a more efficient way than old methods allow. Their first pilot plant has just been launched.
The startup Nemos GmbH, founder by Jan Peckolt in 2012, has spent years on developing a profitable wave power plant.
The ins and outs of Nemos’ wave power plant
Nemos’ wave power plant, just like offshore wind farms, consists of 40-meter-long floating bodes that are located in the middle of the open sea. The floating bodies direct themselves to meet the waves and then absorbs about 70 percent of their energy. This mechanical energy is then transferred via a belt of spring-loaded tensors to power a generator. The generator then turns the mechanical energy into electrical energy.
The size of Nemos’ system can be adjusted to suit the environment it works in. The current prototype’s body measures about eight times two meters. A 16-meter-long substructure is attached to the body.
Nemos’ plant was developed by the company in collaboration with the University of Duisburg Essen (UDE) and supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economics. The plant’s key components were tested and optimized on a 40-ton test rig in the German Department of Energy Storage laboratories.
Controlled testing under laboratory conditions
Jan Peckolt has been awarded several prices for his work with Nemos. He has patented its control system and been able to continue his researches on how it can be improved thanks to subsidies from scientists in Berlin.
Nemos’ construction has been tested and analyzed at the Development Centre for Ship Technology and Transport Systems.
"Geotechnical engineering, for example, was indispensable for the foundation design of the plant and the conception of the installation process," says Jan Peckolt. He continues:
"The researchers carried out numerous simulations and tests under controlled laboratory conditions as well as in natural waters," says Peckolt.
Pilot plant built in the North Sea
Nemo’s prototype is now being tested in the Belgian North Sea close to Ostend. The fleet is located close to the company’s research tower from where scientists can monitor the experiment in real-time. The test phase started mid-September and will run for about two years. If successful, it will constitute the blueprint for the first commercial power plant. According to calculations, one such powerplant could produce enough electricity for between 700 and 800 households.
Several components in Nemos’ power plant needed to be adjusted for use in seawater before this initial test period could start. Liros GmbH and Schaeffler Technologies were both part of developing components for the wave power plant.
This article was first published in German by Elektrotechnik.