FabTest clocks record waves
Record of 8.75 metres at marine renewables test site in Cornwall
The FabTest renewable energy test site in Cornwall has experienced the largest waves since recording began there in 2012 with a new maximum height of 8.75 metres clocked.
In January and February, waves regularly topping five metres were recorded by a University of Exeter-maintained buoy during eight storms at the pre-consented Falmouth Bay facility.
University of Exeter FabTest project manager Dr Lars Johanning said: “The events proved the site offers a combination of both shelter from prevailing wind and swell direction, enabling the high levels of accessibility to deployed devices required for device development, yet giving exposure to significant sea states allowing to generate significant electricity.
“This unique feature of the test site is elementary in the development of the marine energy sector and an important selling point for the South West.”
FabTest recently obtained an Regional Growth Fund investment of £549,000 as part of the strategic development of the marine renewables sector within the South West region.
Active testing of the Fred Olsen Lifesaver device (pictured) has been going on at the site, which sits 3km to 5km offshore, since 2012.
Fred Olsen Wave Energy Project manager Alan Taylor said: “The recent extreme weather conditions at the FabTest have underlined the usefulness of this facility as a trials and development location and as a key part of the UK research infrastructure.
“From a technology developer’s viewpoint, this facility has allowed us to demonstrate continued electrical generation of our device in a real world storm situation but in an extremely accessible and technically well supported environment.”
The recent severe weather conditions have resulted in the South West being flooded with enquiries relating to wave power from countries including Scandinavia and Australia.
Image: Fred Olsen