New Direction for Wave Project

AZURA is the new rebranded name for the New Zealand-designed wave energy converter, formerly known as the WET-NZ, destined for deployment in Hawaii during March 2014.

A new website has been set up so interested parties can monitor the progress of the project as it happens. There is also a lot of background information about the technology and the complete research programme. Potential investors will also find information about ways of getting on board during the full size design, manufacture and testing phase.

The top part of the device that houses the power take off (PTO) system is called the “Power Pod”. This section of the device is currently being modified in EHL’s New Plymouth workshops. Major changes to the active float and changes to the control system are being implemented during its stay in New Zealand. Extensive bench testing of the PTO in simulated Hawaii wave conditions have been carried out to optimise the device power output.

azura1    azura2Left: Bench testing the modified power take off system in EHL’s workshop in New Plymouth. Right: Modified Power Pod Structure of the Azura ready for re-assembly at EHL’s workshop

The “Power Pod” will be fully assembled during January and full dry tests will be carried out, including attaching the device to the local grid. The device will then be containerised and shipped to Hawaii where it will be mated with the lower section before being deployed at the Marine Corp Base test area. There has also been some redesign to the mooring system to improve control and durability during this deployment which is schedule to last 12 months. One of the major milestones to be achieved with this deployment is transmitting the device power output to the local grid via a subsea cable back to shore. This will be a first for this device.