Protean Wave Energy has commenced the second phase of pre-commercial ocean testing with the safe deployment of a Wave Energy Convertor (WEC) in 10m water depth 3km off the coast of Fremantle, Western Australia and within Fremantle Ports’ boundaries.

Deployment of WEC

Each test WEC is fitted with a suite of electronic monitoring equipment that transmits motion and energy generation data through a 4G data link to the cloud for analysis at Protean’s head office.

The Company has entered into a services agreement with ASX listed Neptune Marine Services Limited (Neptune), a leading provider of integrated engineering solutions to the oil and gas, marine and renewable energy industries with operations in Australia, Asia, the UK and Middle East, to provide technical and installation services in support of the onshore and offshore testing program.

Importantly, comparisons can be made from the offshore trials to numerical model results allowing the development of a tool to facilitate scaling and design of WEC pods for commercial deployment. The data will also allow Protean to commence the process of marketing to offer clean, affordable and reliable energy to customers in the Asia Pacific region and globally.

Strong team of consultants to support and accelerate WEC optimisation and path to commercialisation

Protean has assembled a strong team of consultants to accelerate the optimisation of its WECs and path to commercialisation. In addition to Neptune, the Company has contracted specialist subsea engineering consultancy Intervention Engineering to oversee the final preparation of data gathering equipment incorporated into the WEC assembly. Intervention Engineering specialises in subsea robotic technology and has a strong track record of delivering high quality efficient inspections and innovative underwater solutions.

RPS Met Ocean (RPS), a leading consultancy providing oceanographic and meteorological services in support of coastal and ocean engineering, has also been contracted to provide a wave and current recording unit (AWAC), which has been deployed alongside the unit to provide reference wave motion data and assist in conducting data analysis.

Steve Rogers Managing Director and CEO of Protean commented: “We have successfully recommenced our offshore testing program and I am pleased to say we have been gathering a significant amount of data to compare with our numerical model and determine the energy capacity of the WECs. The results will add considerable value in the detail design effort. “This is a significant step forward for Protean as we progress our path to become a provider of clean, affordable and reliable energy and will facilitate the move into the next stage of optimisation and enhance our ability to secure commercial projects for a wave energy farm.”

Next steps

Since deployment, substantial data has been collected and initial analysis of operating data and energy generation capability has commenced, with final conclusions expected to be drawn within the coming two to three months.

In parallel, detail design and manufacturing planning will commence, drawing on lessons learned from this test program and the recently completed design review.

The target for completion of a commercial prototype WEC unit is Q1 2017 with a plan to be ready for a commercial wave energy pod trial in Q2 2017. Work is ongoing to identify the most suitable location for such a trial.