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Testing scale model Oyster wave energy device

Belfast research team signs R&D deal

9 Feb 09

We signed a new five year research partnership agreement with the highly acclaimed wave power research group at Queen's University, Belfast this week.

Working in partnership

Under the agreement, we will work with researchers at Queen's University, Belfast to develop the next-generation Oyster wave power device. This agreement is a key step in strengthening our fundamental research capabilities.  The agreement will ensure we deliver high performance commercial wave power devices, based on the most rigorous research and testing programmes possible.

Long-standing collaboration

We have a long history of collaboration with the wave power research group at Queen's University, Belfast.  Oyster originated from research conducted by the group.  We have already delivered feasibility studies, tank testing and numerical modelling for the first Oyster prototype in collaboration with the group.

World-class facilities

Our research and development team will work closely with the team at Queen's University, Belfast to model several devices in the state-of-the-art wave power tank at their test centre. The team will monitor loading, survivability and device interaction to guarantee continuous power output in all sea states.

We will also have access to a second, larger wave tank due to open at the university's Portaferry facility later this year.  The Portaferry facility will allow our team to test the effects of multi-directional waves, realistically simulating the full range of sea conditions which Oyster devices will experience once deployed in a multi-MW, utility scale wave farm.

Wave energy expertise

Professor Trevor Whittaker, Head of the Wave Power Research Centre and a world-renowned expert on wave power and coastal engineering, will continue to supervise PhD students sponsored by Aquamarine Power.

Investing in people

We are committed to continued investment in high quality post-graduate training. Our partnership with Queen's University, Belfast will ensure that the university's brightest PhD students will have the opportunity to work with professionals at Aquamarine Power and ultimately to join our rapidly growing team of experts. The latest PhD graduate from Queen's University, Belfast has recently joined our staff. Our team has doubled in size in the last six months with a quarter of our staff holding PhDs.

Speaking about the partnership, Martin McAdam, our  Chief Executive Officer said:

"I am delighted to announce Aquamarine Power's continuing relationship with Queen's University, Belfast's world-leading team. Professor Trevor Whittaker is an award-winning expert in wave energy research. He and his group have tested and deployed more devices in their time than any other research facility in the world.

World-class team

"This agreement creates a fantastic opportunity on two fronts. Firstly, it provides Aquamarine Power with access to the university's world-class wave power test facilities, enabling us to continue to enhance the design of Oyster as a market leading technology, and as importantly, it gives us access to the brightest PhD students in this field."

Professor Trevor Whittaker added:

"My group specialises in the application of fundamental research to industrial development, therefore I am very pleased to strengthen our links with Aquamarine Power, one of the world's leaders in marine renewable energy.

Research excellence towards commercial development

"It provides focus for the work of our research students, giving them an opportunity to participate in cutting edge research that will benefit society and the environment for current and future generations."