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Preparing the Uppsala University Wave Energy Converter Generator for Large-Scale Production

Date: February 24, 2015 at 13:03 GMT

The wave power technology in this article has been developed at Uppsala University (UU), Sweden. The wave energy converter (WEC), consisting of a direct driven linear generator installed at the seabed, connected by a line to a point absorbing buoy, is illustrated in Figure 1. The direct driven magnetic part of the generator, the translator, follows the motion of the heaving ocean waves. Intermediate energy storages and gearboxes are removed, to increase the lifetime of the system. The first full-scale wave energy converter was installed in 2006 and the experimental site has been continuously updated ever since. Up until the autumn of 2013, eleven different WECs and two marine substations have been deployed. The deployed units have proven their ability to convert the energy in the ocean waves and transmit the electrical energy onshore (1). The latest status update of the project can be found in (2). As the system evolves, the importance of the economical perspective increases and the reduction of both the material and the production costs have a major impact on the system’s final design. The UU WEC generator is designed for use in farms of up to 1,000 units. Hence the required production volumes are suitable for automated production lines. To achieve this it is important to keep production in mind from the start. The latest full-scale Prototype, L12, is the first design in the third generation (G3). Steps have been taken to reduce the cost of manufacturing as well as to choose environmentally 2 friendly materials. The first two L12 generators were deployed outside the city of Lysekil, at the Swedish west coast, in March and July 2013. The ambition of this paper is to introduce the major generator design changes introduced in the G3 design compared to the second generation (G2) of the UU WEC and to relate them to large-scale production. The possibilities for large scale automated production and assembly will be outlined and exemplified. For reference, a corresponding investigation of the G2 UU WEC generator design is shown. 

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