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At AWS Ocean Energy we have adopted a steady technology development programme which recognises and respects the need for rigorous and progressive technology development and qualification. We have adopted a stage-gate process which seeks to ensure capital efficiency by advancing all areas of the development of our product at the same rate, thus avoiding expensive re-design and re-work often caused if problems are over-looked. This process is informed by external third-party consultant review and guided by our Technology Advisory Committee.
Our current objectives are to complete the performance validation of the AWS-III through further scale model testing in controlled tank conditions and to prove the manufacture, installation, maintenance and durability of the flexible wave energy absorber membrane. This latter objective will be achieved through a single-cell test apparatus deployed in UK waters during 2012.
In parallel with the scale model and single cell testing we are continuing to optimise the AWS-III structure and PTO system, we are conducting extensive flex-fatigue testing of the membrane materials and addressing the other issues necessary to achieve a full product roll-out to meet the timescales set by the Pentland Firth Orkney Waters opportunity.
In summary our programme is:
2011 Complete performance testing and single cell design
2012 Complete single cell test
2013 Build full-system 12 cell 2.5MW prototype
2014 Test prototype in open water
2015 Begin work on 10MW demonstration array (4 AWS-III machines)
2016 Deployment of 10MW array
We recognise the importance of third party certification of our designs and final product and we are working to ensure full certification at each stage of development. We also recognise the importance of the industrialisation phase of our product roll-out and we are working closely with Alstom, our OEM backer and other partners to ensure that the capability exists for rapid roll out of the AWS-III once the technology is proven.