Spain is developing a new technology for recovery of wave energy, which, according to its designers, will significantly increase (by about 170%) capacity per unit area and energy production, compared to the other existing equipment.
This system, called WELCOME (acronym for Multiple Wave Energy Converter Lift España), and proposed by Pipo systems, will be developed by a consortium created between the Spanish Anortec and two public research institutes: Platform Oceanic Canary and The Industrial School of Barcelona (CEIB). The Ministry of Science and Innovation recently awarded the project a government grant 2.1 million euros worth .
WELCOME is based on the system developed by PCA-PISYS Pipo Systems composed of multiple buoys placed on the surface and at depths variable and adjustable underwater.
The buoys aremoving still in the opposite directions, which has the effect of simultaneously increasing their power and distance traveled. According to the proponents, the system can simultaneously exploit the potential and kinetic pressure of sea waves, unlike traditional technologies that use one of these separate components.
The project is currently in its test phase: a prototype of 100-150 kW at 1:5 scale is under construction and will be deployed off the coast of the Canary Islands.
The first industrial prototype installed in Galicia (northwest Spain) will be composed of several units grouped by 8 or 16 . Together, they can reach a capacity of 10 to 20 MW, producing between 30 and 60 million kWh per year, with a desalination capacity of between 10 and 20 hm3/year.