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IMPACT (Innovative Methods for Wave Energy Pathways Acceleration through Novel Criteria and Test Rigs) was a European project for the development and demonstration of a next-generation testing approach for Wave Energy Converters (WECs).

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The ocean is a renewable energy resource with many possible ways of exploitation. In wave energy applications, the energy naturally contained in waves is converted into usable energy. To do this, we use wave energy converters (WECs). However, while WECs have developed a lot in recent years, more work is still needed for the sector to reach its full potential.

The IMPACT project has developed and demonstrated a new testing approach for WECs called “dual hardware-in-the-loop” (Dual HIL), which expands the capabilities of the already established hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) technique. 

The Dual HIL platform combines two test rigs, which were also developed as part of the project:

  • one rig for testing the entire drivetrain either linear or rotary, from input mechanical to grid compliant power;
  • one rig for testing structural components and mooring lines, either in dry or wet environment.

This approach makes use of the advantages of HIL while incorporating the interdependencies between subsystems as a fundamental feature in order to de-risk WEC development. 

As such, it can be used to create standardised testing procedures that address the development of key parts for all WEC types while increasing their technical maturity as a whole. This would be essential for accelerating WEC development, reducing technology costs, and meeting the energy goals of the European Commission.

Key Factors

Project duration

2021 - 2024