A pioneering experiment linking ocean wave power and subsea batteries to run crucial marine equipment is celebrating success after 12 months of tests off Orkney.

The £2million Renewables for Subsea Power (RSP) project connects the Blue X wave energy converter – built by Edinburgh company Mocean Energy – with a Halo underwater power storage system. The battery is the contribution of Verlume, an Aberdeen-based firm of specialists in intelligent energy management.

RSP’s final phase will begin in coming days. All equipment will be removed from the site, ahead of inspection onshore in Orkney and at Verlume’s operations base in Dyce, Aberdeen.

The cross-disciplinary trial, located three miles east of Orkney, sought to show how green technologies can combine to provide dependable, continuous low carbon power and communications to subsea equipment.  It offers a cost-effective future alternative to cables, whose drawbacks include are their long lead times and high upfront carbon footprint.

In recent months oil giants TotalEnergies and Shell Technology’s marine renewable programme have joined project leads Mocean Energy and Verlume in the pan-industry initiative. Also involved are Britain’s Net Zero Technology Centre, Thailand’s state fossil fuel extractor PTTEP, and four more partners.

 “The programme has been a tremendous success,” judges Andy Martin, Verlume’s chief commercial office.

“This phase was conceived as a four-month at-sea demonstration. But the quality of data and the robustness of our combined technologies led us to extend the programme. We now have increasing confidence in the reliability and the commercial potential of this system.”

From NZTC, Graeme Rogerson was just as enthusiastic: “It’s fantastic to see RSP successfully demonstrated.  It shows what’s possible when innovative technology is given the right financial and industry support.

“This is only the beginning for Mocean Energy’s Blue X wave energy converter and Verlume’s Halo underwater battery storage system; future phases will further accelerate the technology’s development and accelerate commercialisation, which is always the end goal.”

 After assessment, further uses may include repeating a second scheme in Scottish waters, or a venturing overseas. The prize is proving further how RSP’s combination of green technologies can enable reliable low carbon power and communications to subsea equipment.

In 2021, the consortium invested £1.6million into phase two of the programme – which saw the successful integration of the core technologies in an onshore test environment at Verlume’s operations facility in Aberdeen.

The same year Mocean Energy’s Blue X prototype underwent a programme of rigorous at-sea testing at the European Marine Energy Centre’s Scapa Flow test site in Orkney, where it generated first power and gathered key data on machine performance and operation.

Verlume’s subsea battery energy storage system, Halo, has been specifically designed for the harsh underwater environment, reducing operational emissions and facilitating the use of renewable energy by providing a reliable, uninterrupted power supply. Halo’s fundamental basis is its intelligent energy management system, Axonn, a fully integrated system which autonomously maximises available battery capacity in real time.


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