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AW-Energy: Putting revolutionary wave energy technology into rough waters.

Creating a picture of the ground conditions for WaveRollerTM, using innovative 3D ground modelling

Key facts

  • 01.


    AW-Energy, Finland

  • 02.


    Installing renewable wave technology, WaveRoller™, Peniche, Portugal

  • 03.


    An understanding of the expected ground conditions for the proposed foundations in an extreme environment

Client challenge

AW-Energy is the developer of the world-leading wave-energy converter, WaveRoller™. This novel technology delivers emission-free, renewable energy. Wave movements are captured by a hinged panel that runs a generator. This technology also has a low visual impact on the environment.

We had already supported AW-Energy with a review of the prototype design and fabrication work. The successful outcome meant a new challenge, and this time for our geoscience and geotechnical experts.

The client wanted to install its first, full-scale WaveRollerTM in Peniche, Portugal, in the nearshore area at depths of between 8 and 20 meters. Once deployed and fully operating, the device would be connected to the grid. Before that, our client needed a solid understanding of the ground conditions of the site. This was critical for safe installation. The foundations are a key part of the installation; understanding the ground conditions is a crucial component of the foundation design. Traditional survey and site investigations, such as offshore bore samples, were considered impractical in the extreme conditions. A new methodology for this novel technology was required, providing cost efficiencies.

How we helped

We developed an innovative 3D modelling technique for our client’s project. This involved undertaking carefully selected offshore and onshore geological mapping techniques. All the data was integrated into the latest 3D structural geological modelling software. Our experts could then model the geology across the site.

Techniques used included:

  • offshore geophysical survey, comprising multibeam echosounder bathymetry, sidescan sonar and sub-bottom profiler

  • ariel photogrammetry

  • diving the offshore reefs to take samples and measure the dip and strike of the bedding

  • structural geological mapping of the surrounding cliffs and beach outcrops

  • boreholes drilled on the beach

  • 3D structural geological modelling.

Ground modelling for WaveRoller® by LR

Client feedback

“AW Energy is driving a strong, low-carbon technology agenda and the Lloyd’s Register team has had a huge impact on our ability to successfully deploy this ground-breaking technology. Their ability to analyse complex, technical issues and devise innovative solutions is unrivalled.”

John Liljelund

CEO, AW-Energy

Powerful benefits

The 3D Advanced Ground Model gave the Foundations Engineers an understanding of the expected ground conditions in the vicinity of the proposed foundations. This would have proved extremely challenging, and incredibly costly, with traditional site investigation techniques.

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