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Marine Researcher Helps MPS Rule the Waves

Post date: February 10, 2014

Marine Researcher Helps MPS Rule the Waves

The LCRI’s Marine team aims to work with industry partners to assist with the development, production and deployment of devices and services that utilise marine and wave energy to generate renewable and clean power.

Dr John Chapman of Low Carbon Research Institute’s (LCRI) Marine team has been collaborating with Marine Power Systems (MPS), based in Swansea. Marine Power Systems Ltd was founded in August 2008 by Dr Gareth Stockman and Dr Graham Foster, with the sole purpose of developing and bringing to market the WaveSub wave energy converter.

Wave energy converters are devices designed to extract the kinetic energy of waves and the movement of the sea. The WaveSub converter utilises a subsurface orbiting float that directly harnesses the energy flow of waves, leading to excellent energy capture.

Dr Chapman has been working with MPS to develop a 1/30th scale tank prototype of the WaveSub device. The prototype has allowed MPS to test and demonstrate the properties and features of the Wavesub, which includes a system which allows it to automatically adjust to optimum depth, and protect itself by dropping safely below stormy seas. It is also easy to transport, and relatively cheap to manufacture. The device is currently undergoing testing to demonstrate the unique selling points of the WaveSub and to validate computer models of its performance.

Dr Chapman said “This is a key step in the development of MPS’s concept. This research allows their claims to be investigated independently at relatively low cost and will enable progression to the next stage of development for the company.”

Dr Ian Masters, Principal Investigator of the LCRI Marine team said “MPS are a fantastic example of a start-up company which was formed by two Swansea University students and incubated within the University system with assistance from the LCRI. The WaveSub device has a real potential to become a disruptive technology of the future, and certainly one that we are keen to support.”

The WaveSub has recently won the the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) Energy Innovation Award 2013. In addition, MPS has been named in the Green 100 and on the Shell Springboard Competition. It is also part of the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program.

Dr Gareth Stockman, Managing Director of MPS said “The commitment from Swansea University and the LCRI with Dr John Chapman completing our prototype has meant a step change for MPS. The data that will be collected as a result of the sophisticated prototype will undoubtedly create the confidence needed for investors to support the next stage of development – a quarter scale demonstrator.”

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