Annual Report 2014
Country Reports


Ana Brito e Melo WavEC Offshore Renewables



WavEC Offshore Renewables
WavEC is a private non-profit association, currently with 13 associates (industrial and public), and devoted to the development and promotion of offshore energy utilization thorough technical and strategic support to companies and public bodies. WavEC team is composed by 20 specialists with a broad range of experience on ocean energy, including both the technical (numerical modelling, wave resource, monitoring, technology) and non-technical (economic models, environmental and licensing, public policies, dissemination) issues.

In 2014, WavEC was actively involved in the following European collaborative R&D projects:

  • OCEANET (2013 – 2016), training network of young researchers coordinated by WavEC in the area of floating offshore wind and wave energy (Funded by EC 7th Framework Programme).
  • DTOCEAN (2013 – 2016), providing shared access design tools for wave and tidal energy converter arrays (Funded by EC 7th Framework Programme).
  • MaRINET (2011-2015), network of research facilities at all scales (from small models through to prototype scales; from laboratory through to open sea tests), allowing free access to facilities (Funded by EC 7th Framework Programme).
  • PolyWEC (2012 – 2014), research on a new class of polymeric wave energy converters (PolyWECs), employing Electroactive Elastomer (EE) transducers (Funded by EC 7th Framework Programme).
  • TROPOS (2012 - 2015), development of a floating modular multi-use platform system for use in deep waters (Funded by EC 7th Framework Programme).
  • Waveport (2010 – 2014), construction and demonstration of the Powerbuoy unit (Funded by the EC 7th Framework Programme).
  • SIOCEAN (2012 – 2014), dealing with barriers to large scale wave and tidal energy deployments, and aiming to deliver a common strategy for wave and tidal installed capacity by 2020 (Funded by Intelligent Energy Europe).
  • Atlantic Power Cluster (2012 - 2014), built on the Marine Energy Working Group set up in the CPMR (Atlantic Arc Commission), with the intention to implement a transnational marine energy strategy (Funded by Interreg).

In 2014 WavEC was further involved in two business oriented projects in the framework of KIC InnoEnergy, a company funded by the EC European Institute of Technology (EIT), devoted to developing innovative industrial products:

  • HiWave (High Efficiency Wave Power) - focused on the development of wave energy technology by the Swedish company Corpower, including tests at sea.
  • KIC-OTS (Offshore Test Station) – aiming to develop a number of products and services directed at the current and future needs of the offshore renewable energy farms. In 2014 WavEC was involved in the development of a multi-parametric buoy that can monitor several environmental parameters, important to offshore energy parks.

WavEC has also participated in the ‘Structural Design of Wave Energy Devices’ project (SDWED) supported by the Danish Council for Strategic Research. It was a five-year project focused on the development of design tools for wave energy devices, concluded in 2014 under the coordination of Aalborg University in Denmark.

WavEc has been further developing internal capabilities on a number of key research areas:

  • Techno-economic Analysis: development of detailed techno-economic tools for the analysis and optimization of ocean energy technologies, coupling hydrodynamic wave-to-wire models with engineering and economic models and data.
  • Supply-chain and Market Analysis: development of an extensive database covering detailed information on several areas: technologies, projects, actors, components, costs, etc.
  • Underwater and Acoustic Monitoring – development of methodologies for monitoring of underwater components using WavEC’s Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV); development of expertise on acoustic monitoring programmes covering field noise measurements and data processing and analysis.

Instituto Superior Técnico
Two groups were active on ocean energy at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), University of Lisbon: Institute of Mechanical Engineering (IDMEC) with a decades-long history in wave energy conversion studies, and Centre for Marine Technology and Engineering (CENTEC) whose involvement in ocean energy is more recent.
Following previous years, the activity at IDMEC concentrated on wave energy conversion, especially the development of new types of oscillating water column converters and self-rectifying air turbines. Model testing of an OWC sparbuoy were carried out at the large wave tank of Plymouth University in June-July 2014, within the framework of the MARINET programme. The tests included extreme wave conditions and a triangular array with bottom and inter-body mooring connections (see figure). Data processing and analysis, from test results involving the air turbine and the electrical equipment (generator and power electronics) carried out at Tecnalia’s laboratory (Spain) within the framework of MARINET programme, were performed and submitted for publication. CFD modelling and optimization of a recently patented air turbine were performed, in collaboration with the Universities of Valladolid and Oviedo (Spain). Laboratory tests of moorings with imposed motion of the moored body were performed to validate numerical codes. Small-scale model tests of a patented new concept for a floating OWC were started at IST, in collaboration with LNEG, Lisbon. An important area of research at IDMEC is latching control of floating and fixedstructure OWC converters, taking advantage of the new types of air turbines fitted with fast valves; this included numerical modelling and model testing in wave flume.


Ocean energy is becoming a major area in the diversified activity of CENTEC. The activities at CENTEC in ocean energy involved a wide range of topics covering waves, tidal currents and offshore wind. The characterization, in European waters, of wave energy (and to a much lesser extent tidal and offshore wind energies) has been one of the dominant topics. The study of ocean energy conversion focussed mainly on wave energy converters, with numerical theoretical/modelling of several types of devices.

The First International Conference on Renewable Energies Offshore took place in Lisbon, at Instituto Superior Técnico, on 24-26 November 2015, organized by CENTEC. This was a successful conference, with more than one hundred papers from a wide range of countries presented in four parallel sessions. The proceedings will be published in 2015.

National Laboratory for Energy and Geology (LNEG)
LNEG has been involved in the technical/economical assessment of wave energy converters offshore the Portuguese coast. Two new wave energy devices are being developed. Together with Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), numerical and experimental testing is underway. Wave and wind Portuguese offshore resources have been studied. In the scope of the research project TESS – “Transition to an environmentally sustainable energy system: The role of technology-intensive firms in the commercialisation of emerging energy technologies”, funded by FCT, research has also been conducted on the process of formation and early development of a wave energy “niche” in Portugal and its interactions with activities conducted at transnational and supra national levels. The research focused on the behaviour of actors and its impact on the dynamics of development and implementation of the technology.

Institute of Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Development (INEGI)
INEGI was the coordinator of the national project OTEO - “Offshore Energy Technology Observatory”, in collaboration with WavEC and EnergyIN, concluded in 2013. The final outcome of this project was the edition of the book “Offshore Renewable Energy - Current Status. Future Perspectives for Portugal”, published in 2014 by the project partners with invited international authors, available at: