Purepipe Rides a New Wave

24 April 2013

Purepipe have secured a second contract with Albatern Ltd, an innovative Scottish marine energy company focused on reducing the costs of producing electricity from wave energy.

In simple terms, make a number of modules – which Albatern call Squids, interconnect to other Squids to build up an array device called WaveNET. When the wave meets WaveNET, the modules follow the wave particle motion and create relative movement between the components. This is captured using hydraulic rams creating hydraulic pressure which is then fed through a generator to create electricity.

Each Squid consists of a central riser pipe which floats vertically in the water with various radial arms and complex joint mechanisms.

David Findlay (Chief Technology Officer at Albatern) is enthusiastic about their new technology. Having looked at various other pipe materials (HDPE and Steel) – GRP was chosen for its corrosion properties, high strength to weight ratio and buoyant capabilities.

Purepipe was subsequently chosen to manufacture the GRP pipe primarily because of:

  • best price
  • best delivery
  • purity of manufacture

Purepipe’s discontinuous filament winding facility in Belfast is perfect for the manufacture of short runs of pipes and customisation of the angle of wind. The GRP pipes floating vertically within the sea subject the pipe to a range of internal and external forces – as a result the pipe needs to have sufficient axial and longitudinal strength.

Over the next 12 months further sea trials will take place before the product is offered to market initially on a demonstrator basis. With a number of years of in-situ testing the product can be fully proven, including proper assessment of the ongoing operating costs for the devices. Interest however is already coming in from a number of sectors most notably from aquaculture companies.

Manufacturing of the pipes is about to commence with delivery to site expected for mid May. Purepipe wishes Albatern every success in their development of WaveNET and bringing the final product to market.

For further information on Albatern please visit www.albatern.co.uk, email info@albatern.co.uk or call David Findlay on 0131 440 9025.