Eni Launches Ravenna Wave Power Unit

Prototype Offers 'Promising' Outlook for Offshore Development

Italian energy group Eni has launched an offshore wave power plant, the first hybrid power plant in the world producing energy from waves and photovoltaics, at its Ravenna site in the Adriatic.
The prototype Inertial Sea Wave Energy Converter, or ISWEC, production unit is currently further prototype testing, and if the technology proves successful is expected to spur new breakbulk activity for installations at platforms worldwide.

“Waves are the most underutilized renewable source in the world, with extremely high energy density, high predictability and low variability, making them a very promising future energy source suitable for the decarbonization of offshore processes,” a spokesperson for Eni said.

Gyroscopic Power Generation

The ISWEC technology has been developed by military equipment manufacturer ARIS in collaboration with the Politecnico University in Torino. Containing no moving parts in the water, it is designed to be easy to maintain, with low environmental impact and adaptable to different types of waves.
“ISWEC is made of a floating structure moored to the seabed. A gyroscope, mounted inside the structure, converts the wave energy into electrical energy,” ARIS states.

Wave Forecasting Algorithm
Controlled by by a weather-wave forecasting algorithm to adapt to long-term ocean conditions change the system can adapt to wave conditions by means of inbuilt flywheel and power take-off mechanism.
Eni reports that the prototype has achieved a peak power output of more than 51 kilowatts, or 103 percent of its nominal power, in preliminary tests and expects the unit to be suitable for powering medium and large offshore assets.

Renewable Generation Hubs

If successfully proven Eni plans to invest further to retrofit existing platforms with power generation units, creating a potentially new source of demand for project cargo shipments.
“In the future, [ISWEC] will enable Eni to convert mature offshore platforms into renewable energy generation hubs,” a spokesperson for Eni explained.
Headquartered in Rome, Eni is the world’s 11th-largest industrial company with stakes in a number of major oil and gas platforms and acts a major driver for breakbulk business via its operations in 79 countries.
 Photo: ISWEC. Credit: Eni