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EHL applies its O&G smarts to make global advancements in wave energy

Taranaki-based Energy Hydraulics Ltd (EHL) is demonstrating how the smarts they utilise in the O&G industry can be diversified to foster global ground breaking developments in wave technology.

Known for their ability to design and manufacture high quality motion and control solutions for the oil and gas industry in New Zealand, EHL is now at the forefront of innovative hydraulic developments for wave energy conversion, currently being tested in the US - one of the world’s biggest and most important energy markets.

The wave energy device project was made possible due to a project partnership involving the New Zealand CRI Industrial Research Limited and US company Northwest Energy Innovations, with funding assistance from a US Department of Energy grant worth nearly US $2million.

The wave energy converter is a ‘power pod’ that can extract as much energy as possible from waves and its variety of motions. This includes ‘heaving’ (up and down wave motion), surges (back and forth) and those that ‘pitch’ (roll back and forth).

Below: the wave energy converter during final construction - its ground-breaking hydraulics were developed by New Plymouth company, EHL, who also undertake extensive work within New Zealand's O&G industry.

Moored to the sea floor in an upright position, the wave energy device converts the energy from the wave movements into electricity via a system of on-board hydraulics.  EHL was commissioned to develop these hydraulic ‘smarts’. The company used Hydraulic Simulation Software to carry out significant prototyping on the computer, saving the client significant time and resources and enabling a variety of scenario’s to be evaluated. EHL provided the project management, design engineering, hydraulic engineering, testing and installation for the two half-scale wave energy devices built to date.

One of these half-scale devices is presently being tested off the Oregon Coast, and its potential for full scale development and early commercialisation is attracting world-wide interest.

Below: Up, up and finally in place! The pod was towed to its trial sea/wave site, pulled into position and testing is now underway.

View EHL's capability profile on the NZ O&G Database, domiciled on this web site.

View more info about EHL