It's amazing what you can achieve when you put together a good idea, some money and a handful of researchers from NTNU.
Wave energy may have greater energy potential than wind power. Pelagic Power AS is currently testing several new types of wave energy power stations.
High energy waves
Wave energy has tremendous potential. But technology that will allow us to easily harness this energy so far has been in short supply: A central problem is that some waves can be much stronger than other waves, and any wave power plants must be able to withstand this tremendous variation.
Pelagic Power AS is testing several types of new wave energy power stations. One type takes the energy from the wave at the surface, and transmits it to pumple that are underwater. This protects the most important parts of the power station from the violent force of the waves. And the pumps themselves are not anchored in the seabed, but instead float in the water.
The system works by pumping seawater through strong pipes into a land-based turbine. Calculations show that such a power plant could supply 1000 single-family houses with electricity.
On the fast track to TTO
Dagfinn Røyset, general manager of the Lycro company in Leksvik is the man behind this project. When Røyset came up with the idea for the wave power station, he contacted NTNU Technology Transfer AS (TTO) for help with developing the technology.
"First I contacted North-Trøndelag Power and Leksvik Industrial Growth (LIV), which Lycro helped to start. One of LIV's goals is to be a bridge between NTNU and the municipal R&D industry. They led me right to NTNU", says Røyset, who himself graduated from the university in 1979.
TTO was eager to help Røyset with his idea.
Good model for cooperation
"I regard TTO as a portal for technology transfer between industry and NTNU. And a portal can go both ways. This kind of cooperative model, where initiative and ideas for development projects come from the industry is quite intriguing", says Røyset.
Contact with TTO led to support from Innovation Norway, and also to a binding agreement between Lycro AS, Nord-Trøndelag Power, Innovative Development and Marketing, Inc., Leksvik Industrial Growth and NTNU TTO.
"We put together NOK 2.5 million in this phase", says Røyset.
Commercial and engineering help
TTO is responsible for the commercial aspects of Pelagic Power AS, while the technical aspects are being developed by Professor Thorbjørn Nielsen at NTNU's Department of Energy and Process Engineering, and Associate Professor Øivind Arntsen at the Department of Civil and Transport Engineering. Professors Carl M. Larsen and Sverre Steen from the university's marine structures group are also involved in the project. You can read more about the company on their website.