The R115-400 Wave Energy Converters 12.06.2010

Basic facts

Lower Member shape: “Rail” type arrangement

Lower Member footprint: 36m x 36m

Upper Member: 115 cubic meters

Rated Power: 400kW

Mooring: Gravity bases on opposite sides of the machine

Expected capacity factor in the Mediterranean: 25%-35%

Expected capacity factor in the Ocean: 45%-55%


The R115-400kW will be available commercially to the general public in 2019. It is a relatively small device, with a Lower Member comprising two “rails” each 36m long, and an Upper Member of 115 cubic meters. The mooring is formed by gravity bases, on opposite sides with respect to the machine.

The installation consists in a preliminary positioning of the gravity bases, which can be self-floating, and then the positioning of the machine. All the process can be carried out in one day or, better, in two days.

In grid connected situations these machines are being used in Wave Energy Parks consisting of 3-4 units. They allow for a fractioning of the investment, and are ideal as an alternative to real estate investment. A Real Estate Investment conpany has already bought two, destined to the Scilky Airport Wave Energy Park.

The target for these machines in grid disconnected situations are islands or isolated communities with an average electricity consumption in the order of 400kW or more if no energy storage is available. If energy storage or a flexible power usage are available, then the machine is useful also in situations where the average consumption is lower than 400kW.

The machines can be installed in arrays to increase the energy output, both in a grid-disconnected configuration and in a grid-connected one. The production is significantly more stable than that of wind turbines.

The R115 machines can be used in a setup in which their peak power is artificially limited to 100kW. In this case their expected range of capacity factors (when considered as 100kW machines) increases very significantly. This fact is extremely important in grid disconnected situations, where it can help in stabilizing the grid and it offers an almost complete replacement for diesel generation.

For photos of the launch of the first R115 unit, go to Michele Grassi’s Flickr page

To see a simulation of an array of R115 machines, go to our YouTube channel

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