The Pelamis Wave Energy Converter is a semi-submerged, articulated structure composed of cylindrical sections linked by hinged joints. The wave-induced motion of these joints is resisted by hydraulic rams, which pump high-pressure fluid through hydraulic motors via smoothing accumulators. The hydraulic motors drive electrical generators to produce electricity. Power from all the joints is fed down a single umbilical cable to a junction on the sea bed. Several devices can be connected together and linked to shore through a single seabed cable.
Current P2 machines are 180m long and 4m in diameter with 4 power conversion modules per machine. Each machine is rated at 750kW. The energy produced by Pelamis is dependent upon the conditions of the installation site. Depending on the wave resource, machines will on average produce 25-40% of the full rated output over the course of a year.
Future production scale Pelamis machines are likely to be rated at 1MW, and will be slightly larger than current machines, at around 200m length and 5.5m diameter. Should a non-circular, elliptical tube be implemented, tubes may have a horizontal width of up to 7.5m. As the design of these machines is still in development, this page will be updated to reflect the results of the ongoing R&D. For production scale machines of 1MW the target capacity factor of 25-40% corresponds to an average annual output of 2.9GWh, enough to meet the annual electricity demand of 700 homes.
To see the Pelamis in action click here.
For more information on the technology see Pelamis Wave Power’s website.