Italian energy giant Eni has completed the installation of ISWEC wave energy device off the coast of Pantelleria island in the Mediterranean Sea.
Short for Inertial Sea Wave Energy Converter, ISWEC device has been connected to the electricity grid of Pantelleria island, located in the Strait of Sicily.
The device is located about 800 meters off the coast and can reach 260kW of peak power generation converted from wave energy. This experimental campaign, conducted under real operating conditions, will lead to useful results for developing the second-generation device currently under study, according to Eni.
ISWEC was developed by Eni in collaboration with the Politecnico di Torino and Wave for Energy, a spinoff company of the university.
The device represents an innovative technology in the field of offshore renewable energy solutions, converting wave motion into electricity which then supplies energy to offshore infrastructure, small off-grid islands and coastal communities.
ISWEC design can be optimized with reference to the met-ocean conditions of the site where it is installed by means of a genetic algorithm that leverages on the significant computing power of Eni’s Green Data Centre (GDC) based in Ferrera Erbognone.
The machine consists of a steel hull, measuring 8 by 15 meters, which houses the energy conversion system, consisting of two gyroscopic units, each more than 2 meters in diameter. The device is held in place in a 35-meter-deep seabed by a special mooring system that responds to weather and sea conditions, consisting of three mooring lines and a swivel (a rotating joint). The electricity produced is transmitted ashore via an underwater electric cable.
Moreover, ISWEC can be integrated perfectly with other offshore renewable energy production systems, such as wind power generators, both because it enhances the value of connection systems and because it can be integrated with other facilities in the same sea area, thereby maximizing the conversion of available energy.
The ISWEC wave energy technology is part of Eni’s decarbonization plan and was mentioned by the EU Commission in its strategy on offshore renewable energy as a key example of sea wave energy conversion. The installation of the ISWEC in Pantelleria is the first step towards the decarbonization of the island, in line with the energy transition agenda, according to Eni.
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