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Innovating in Wave Energy

WEPTOS™ Innovating in Wave Energy

2011 © Copyright WEPTOS A/S. All rights reserved

Booklet design by Kirt∙Thomsen Aps

Introduction 5

01 Wave energy 7

02 WEPTOS 17

03 Time to market 47

Behind the idea 57


“This, together with the high efficiencies, makes it probable that a price
per kWh competitive to corresponding offshore wind turbines is within
reach, even without taking learning curves into account.”

”...this device looks extraordinarily promising...”

Jens Peter Kofoed, Assistant Professor, M.Sc., Ph.D. (Aalborg University, Wave Energy Research Group)

Seventy-one percent of the Earth’s surface The 1970’s oil crisis and the present day
is covered by water — oceans, seas, lakes climate crisis have kindled a focused effort on
and rivers. These massive bodies of water new invention development. Nevertheless, to
generate energy, which today goes largely control and generate electricity from powerful
unused. Hydro, tidal, and wave energy are waves remains a challenge.
environmentally desirable sources of power.
Wave energy is a reliable power source with The WEPTOS™ concept uses a simple method
a long-term potential estimated to be between to harvest wave energy through proven
10-15% of global electricity consumption. technology. The wave power generator adapts
to small waves as well as large waves, and
Since 1890, inventions designed to harness wave directional changes.
wave energy have been developed and tested.

01 Wave energy
Wave direction



Wave height

Wave base

01 Wave energy
What is a wave
Wave power is power obtained by harnessing Crest: The uppermost point of a wave.
the energy of ocean surface waves. Waves are
generated by wind passing over the water’s Trough: The lowest point of a wave between
surface. crests.

Wind speed: The faster the wind travels (blows), Wavelength: The horizontal distance between
the larger a wave becomes. one crest and the next crest (or trough to
Time duration: The longer the length of time the
wind hits a wave, the larger a wave becomes. Wave height: The vertical distance between a
wave’s trough and its crest.
Wind distance: The farther the distance the
wind travels over open water (known as fetch), Frequency: A measure of how many waves
the larger a wave becomes. pass in a certain amount of time.

E = energy averaged over specific time interval

HmO = significant wave height

g = gravitational constant

E = ρgHm2o
16 ρ = sea water density

5,000,000,000 kW*
*Global consumption is app. 1,500,000,000 kW

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100 38 24 38 13 7 10
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36 23 3
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40 50
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97 42
01 Wave energy
Ocean energy is an abundant, dense and reduce our dependency on coal power plants
predictable resource. Waves propagate over which today balance the volatility of wind-
thousands of miles of ocean and their size generated power.
and energy content can be known three to five
days in advance — which makes wave power Finally, wave installations are not only less
a more predictable source of energy than wind. visible and noisy, they may positively influence
environmental conditions for sea life by
From a wider perspective, wave power will providing sheltered areas.

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84 51 72 81

Photo: Courtesy of
01 Wave energy
Wave power holds great potential but also similar to how a weather vane adapts to the
presents great challenges. wind in 2 dimensions.

First, a wave power generator needs to be able In addition to these two difficult requirements,
to absorb waves of various sizes. The rise and a wave power generator must be able to
fall of waves should activate the generator, adjust to changing weather conditions and
which then takes the waves’ energy and corresponding wave types. Large and extreme
converts it to electricity. waves can cause irreparable damage to the
wave power generator if variable conditions
As the wave power generator extracts the wave are not considered in the design.
energy, it must be flexible in 3 dimensions,

Absorb a wave motion Flexible in 3 dimensions Adjust to weather

Photo: Copyright © Edinburgh Wave Power Group. All Rights Reserved.
01 Wave energy
Salter’s Duck (1974)
In response to the Oil Crisis, a number of The Duck had a very high efficiency in small
researchers reexamined the potential of tests, but it faced challenges in scaling up
generating energy from ocean waves, one and adapting to the sea. For example, when
of whom was Professor Stephen Salter of the multiple Ducks were placed in a long line, all
University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Ducks had to absorb one wave simultaneously.
This created an uneven power output, which
Salter’s 1974 invention became known as required a complicated and expensive
Salter’s Duck or Nodding Duck. In small scale stabilising control system.
controlled tests, the Duck’s curved cam-
like body stopped 90% of wave motion and In the 1980s, as the price of oil decreased,
converted 90% of the motion to electricity — wave energy funding was drastically reduced.
resulting in an overall efficiency of 81%.


v e

Outer part

1. Inner part (moving)

Rotating axle

IP Intellectual property rights. All rights reserved
The WEPTOS™ generator is based on the rotate. The outer part reverts to neutral position
same basic principle as Salter’s Duck. The after the energy of the wave is absorbed.
generator contains a component - or rotor - The inner part and the rotating axle are not
with an asymmetrical point-of-gravity lying at affected by the reset movement of the outer
the water’s surface that follows the up-and- part. This mechanism is a ratchet mechanism,
down motion of the waves. But the similarities typically used in hoist devices and hand tools.
end here. A WEPTOS™ rotor is separated into
an inner and outer part which touch surfaces. Four rotors are placed beside each other with
A rotating axle is placed inside the inner part. the rotating axle going through all of them.
The rotating axle is held by arms attached to a
When a wave hits the outer part it causes the pipe construction behind the rotors.
inner part to move, which makes the axle inside

4 x Rotors

Rotating axle

Rotating axle

Smooth power
WEPTOS™ is a super structure composed of power generation and the use of construction
modules with rotors attached. The modules are materials.
connected in one long line. A rotating axle goes
through all the rotors and ends in the generator. The long line of rotors is placed at an
angle against the wave direction. The rotor
This method of connecting rotors and generator positioning, together with the use of many small
uses direct drive technology, a well-known rotors as opposed to a few larger ones, creates
and proven technology. Using direct drive a smooth energy generation and output to the
technology reduces energy loss from wave to grid.

90o 15-60o

IP Intellectual property rights. All rights reserved



Torsional movement Beam absorption of forces

In order to keep the line of rotors angled against and down independently of each other. Flexible
the wave direction, the line of rotors is mirrored joints connecting the beams to the sides enable
and copied. Two beams are placed between the whole construction to move torsionally.
the sides so they maintain their position.
This creates a triangle shape — a very stable This simple low-tech construction will absorb
and strong construction. and transform wave energy, and at the same
time be able to resist the various forces of
The two beams allow each side to move up different wave sizes.

Triangle with flexible joints

Large waves Small waves
min. 30o max. 120o
Changing waves
Waves appear in various sizes and with different from the waves as possible, adapting to small
frequencies. It is challenging to absorb and waves as well as large waves.
transform the largest possible range of waves.
Supporting this feature, the rotor is able to
The WEPTOS™ energy generator has solved flip 360 degrees around the rotating axle.
this challenge by making the beams in the This gives the machine durability to resist a
triangle construction movable. This feature storm with very large waves without breaking.
allows the angle of the machine to vary from
30 degrees to 120 degrees. The variable angle These many features make WEPTOS™ an
makes it possible to extract as much energy efficient and reliable energy generator.

Majority of wave directions


Adaptable to all wave directions

Directional flexibility
WEPTOS™ attaches to a buoy anchored to surrounding sea. Most waves will be within an
the sea floor. Like a boat moored at sea, the angle of 120 degrees.
generator is able to rotate 360 degrees around
the buoy. This feature not only enables the generator to
‘catch’ all waves, it allows flexibility if a storm
WEPTOS™ can adapt to all possible wave hits. One can compare it to how a weather vane
directions by simply following the forces of the adapts to all wind directions.



Power flow

Anchor line

Anchor points

Grid connection
WEPTOS™ is connected to a buoy with three travels through a cable from the two generator
anchor lines and three anchor points on the housings to the buoy and further by cable
seabed. The anchor lines are placed in a along the seabed to the transformer station. All
triangular shape to keep the buoy and the cables of the WEPTOS™ energy generators in
whole unit in place. This setup allows flexibility the wave farm are connected at the transformer
for positioning the buoy and WEPTOS™. station.

Power is produced in two generators and

Power cable



Movable part



The WEPTOS™ energy generator is based on the inverted ratchet wheel as well as the rotating
known and simple technology, which makes axle, and a light weight component with weight
manufacturing of the parts possible almost blocks inside. The generator module consists
anywhere in the world. of the generator itself and a housing with an
access hole. The beams are designed like
Each of the two long sides are made of five tube parts with connections to a moveable
modules. Every module has three ‘arms’ component at each end.
holding a rotating axle with four rotors.
The relatively small module sizes and modularity
A rotor consists of three parts: A tube including would make set up for serial production fairly
an inverted ratchet wheel, a connecting simple.
component with three ratchet arms touching

Light weight part (w. weights)

Ratchet arms


Ratchet wheel (inverted)

All parts will be manufactured in sizes able to fit factory to installation site. This limits the amount
standard transport equipment. This simplifies of transport providers and increases the total
the logistics and lowers the total cost of the price.
WEPTOS™ energy generator.
The WEPTOS™ components will be small
Take for instance transport of wind turbines. compared to wind turbines making them easy
A blade - just one components of a wind to pack and load with standard equipment and
turbine - is up to 80 m long. Special trailers, tools. Basically all transport companies will be
special tools and police escorts are necessary able to do the job. The transport costs will be
every time one blade is transported from low keeping the total price down.

Oversized wind turbine transport (one blade) 33

WEPTOS™ is transported in separate the full machine. Wind turbines need heavy
components which require assembly at the lift cranes and due to their large size, wind
quay of the port before being hoisted into the turbines are typically assembled only in their
water. main parts: tower sections, nacelle, and rotor
with blades or even blades individually.
Wind turbines are similarly transported in
separate components and assembled at WEPTOS™ will only need a heavy lift crane to
the port before shipping out for installation. lower it into the water.
However, closer observation reveals significant
differences between WEPTOS™ and wind In addition, wind turbines require a large
turbines. storage area due to their huge dimensions.
Each component of WEPTOS™ is small
WEPTOS™ components are lighter than wind and easy to stack together, so the entire unit
turbine components, which enables the use of requires less storage area at the port.
smaller cranes or even fork lifts to assemble

Bottom section


To p s e c t i o n 35
Pre-assembly of wind turbine tower
WEPTOS™ is buoyant which makes it relatively The WEPTOS™ energy generator is much
simple to visit the installation site in a standard easier to install. Once the tug boat has reached
tug boat, unlike wind turbines which need a the installation site with WEPTOS™, it simply
very large installation vessel. needs to anchor the machine to a buoy and
connect the power cable. This process only
The total fleet of installation vessels is limited requires a few people as opposed to many
today making them both expensive and difficult when installing a wind turbine.
to book on short notice. Furthermore, only
about one wind turbine can be installed per
day because of the many parts required for

Installation of wind turbine with jackup barge
Service visits, maintenance and the replace- Replacement procedures can be done safely
ment of components are costly in the total life at the docks. A tug boat pulls the machine
of a wind turbine - especially offshore. back and forth to the designated area.

The nacelle containing most of the mechanical

parts is placed at an average height of 100
meters. Visits require a helicopter or a vessel.
When parts like the generator need replacement
it is challenging. A vessel with a crane must be
used to make repairs.

The helicopter and the crane-equipped vessel Helicopter

are very costly. Use of a service vessel is
not particularly expensive but man-hours
accumulate when accessing the nacelle and
other parts of the enormous construction.

Service visits to WEPTOS™ are easily made by

a service vessel attached to one of the sides.
This straightforward operation makes servicing
the machine very time-efficient.

Jackup barge

Service vessel

Service & maintenance of wind turbine
Wind turbine
A wind turbine is a green product. It produces and processing of materials, manufacturing
carbon neutral energy from wind, one of and transportation of components, as well
nature’s renewable forces. However, a wind as assembly, installation, maintenance and
turbine is a very large machine requiring a eventual demolition of the turbine.
large amount of resources and materials to
produce. More than 100 tons of steel is used for WEPTOS™ is designed with a strong but light
the tower construction alone and the 3 blades construction making it very easy to manufacture,
are made of carbon fibre and fibreglass. The transport, assemble, install, maintain and
blades can not be recycled because they are demolish. The simple construction results
glued together with epoxy. Depending on the in a minimal use of resources and materials
type of construction, only part of the foundation and therefore has a small carbon footprint
can be recycled. compared to a wind turbine.

Generally only 70-80% of a wind turbine is WEPTOS™ components are also 90-100%
recyclable. Additionally, wind turbines have a recyclable, making the unit environmentally
large carbon footprint due to the aggregation friendly.

Wind turbine

Steel Concrete Composites

WEPTOS™ vs. Horns Rev 1
Horns Rev 1 is a Danish offshore wind farm amount of electricity using only half the amount
comprised of 80 Vestas V80-2.0 MW wind of area. This efficient use of space will cut
turbines. It is the first large scale offshore wind installation, service and transportation issues
farm in the world. With a capacity of 160 MW by half, and reduce the visual impact in terms
it can supply 150,000 Danish households with of park area and height.
In addition, wave power can be predicted three
WEPTOS™ will be able to produce the same to five days in advance unlike wind power.

WEPTOS™ Horns Rev 1

160 MW 160 MW

3.8 km

5 km
Pelamis Wave Power Wave Dragon

Wave Star Aquamarine Power

WEPTOS™ vs. wave developers
Wave power holds great potential and therefore simple and light construction feasible.
there are many companies and individuals
investigating how to capture and convert wave Conversion — it is a major challenge to convert
movement into power. wave power to electric power without losing a
large percentage of energy. A hydraulic system
Capture — there are several methods to is commonly used but in most cases it has a
capture wave movement. One method is high loss of power. WEPTOS™ uses a known
buoyant moored which WEPTOS™ uses. and proven technology to generate power. It
Another is hinged contour which Pelamis Wave utilises a rotating axle which goes through all
Power uses. Many other projects use very large the rotors and ends directly in the generator.
mechanical machines. WEPTOS™ adapts With this method, close to 100% of the wave
intuitively to natural forces, which makes its power is captured.


Nature force Capture energy Convert to power Transformation

It is a challenge to get a low loss of energy

in the conversion!

03 Time to market
”This, together with the high efficiencies, makes it probable
that a price per kWh competitive to corresponding offshore
wind turbines is within reach, even without taking learning
curves into account.”
Jens Peter Kofoed, Assistant Professor, M.Sc., Ph.D. (Aalborg University, Wave Energy Research Group)
03 Time to market
1:8 Module test
The first test was done in the wave power test four rotors as in the design.
centre at Aalborg University.
The test proceeded well and the results were
A section from one of the two long sides was very good. The output showed a high efficiency
constructed for the test. During testing, the in capturing and converting the wave power
section was placed sideways in the water with minimal energy loss. This initial test
to simulate the way it would float and impact provided solid evidence favouring projected
waves in the ocean. The section was split into calculations.

03 Time to market
1:8 Rotor test
For the second test a rotor element of similar This test was done in the test centre at Aalborg
detail and material makeup to those chosen University as well.
for the serial production was constructed. The
ratchet mechanism inside was among the The quantitative results from this test were
detail improvements. better than the first test, adding more weight to
the promising initial results.

03 Time to market
1:8 Full system test
A test of the full system will be done in IH in Denmark and will be transported to Spain
Cantabria, Europe’s newest and largest indoor for assembly. The model will include all
wave test centre, in September 2011. This components of the final operating product, but
test centre in Northern Spain is recognised scaled 1:8 for the test.
as a high-quality scientific and technological
environment. Testing the WEPTOS™ machine in this high-
quality environment will provide the final results
All parts of the test model are being constructed of efficiency before going full scale 1:1.

Contracts and project start-up Required permissions from
Model design Contracts with builder etc
Engineering Design
Model manufacturing Engineering
Model testing Manufacturing
Critical evaluation of tests Installation of full-
Patent Patent
Decision regarding full-scale testing First power to

Phase 1 Phase 2
03 Time to market
authorities 1-year test
c. Critical evaluation of tests
Company value calculation
-scale concept Commercialisation decision

grid delivery


Phase 3




Behind the idea
Behind the idea
About us
WEPTOS A/S — The company’s roots trace development provided a solid foundation to
back to 1991, and include substantial develop the WEPTOS™ energy generator.
experience in international collaborations for
product concept development and intellectual The WEPTOS™ project is already protected
property rights. The product portfolio consists with two patents. This was made possible
of a variety of exclusive household products. through a collaboration with Zacco Denmark,
Since 2007, wave energy research has been Europe’s largest intellectual property consul-
the company’s sole focus. tancy.

Tommy Larsen is the company CEO and Early concepts have been tested at Aalborg
inventor of the WEPTOS™ energy generator. University’s wave lab in collaboration with the
He has an engineering background and long Aalborg University Wave Energy Research
maritime experience from years of sailing Group. The components for the 1:8 prototype
and a childhood in a sailing family. This are presently being built with funding by
‘ocean experience’ together with his business
experience working professionally with product

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