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Flanders Electicity from the Sea

Acronym: FlanSea

Institutes (6)  Top 
  • Universiteit Gent; Faculteit Ingenieurswetenschappen en Architectuur; Vakgroep Civiele Techniek; Afdeling Weg- en Waterbouw (AWW), more, partner
  • Universiteit Gent; Faculteit Ingenieurswetenschappen; Vakgroep Civiele Techniek; Afdeling Maritieme Techniek, more, partner
  • Ghent University; Faculty of Engineering; Department of Electrical Energy, Systems and Automation; Electrical energy laboratory research group (EELAB), more, partner
  • Universiteit Gent; Faculteit Ingenieurswetenschappen; Department of Materials Science & Engineering; Mechanics of Materials and Structures (MMS), more, partner
  • Port of Oostende, more, partner
  • Dredging, Environmental & Marine Engineering NV; D.E.M.E. Blue Energy (DBE), more, partner

The basic objective is to generate renewable energy and produce electricity at current (competitive) market prices. The first objective is to bring the cost price down to the same level as charged for other forms of offshore energy e.g. offshore wind generated energy.
Hence, the devices developed for the purpose need to be able to “catch” the energy generated by waves with the same efficiency and effectiveness and subsequently convert it into electrical power.

In the development of the wave energy converters, the designers and developers have generally concentrated their efforts on marine areas distinguished by outsized wave actions, meaning zones that produce excessive wave energy. Such marine zones are, however, also breeding grounds for major violent storms. These storm waves bring large pressures to bear on the wave energy converters, thus placing high demands on the structural strength of these devices. Their resistance to such extreme conditions, called their ‘survivability’, is therefore as crucial as their efficiency.

The development, construction and the secure anchorage of a device that can sustain the barrage of major storms without suffering damage not only affects the cost price, it also has to prove technically feasible!

Experiences with a string of failures of large converters under violent storm conditions call for a cautious approach. The FlanSea converters therefore are meant for use in marine areas in more moderate wave climate zones, such as, for example, the southern part of the North Sea.

The team’s ultimate objective is the development and production of robust and efficient wave energy converters suited for use in a moderate wave climate and cosst-effective in mass production with other renewable energy sources, such as offshore wind generated energy.

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