Wello's Penguin Device Making its Way to Orkney Waters

June 14th 2011

Wello Oy’s Penguin wave energy device has left the Riga Shipyard in Latvia and is on its way to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) wave energy test site at Billia Croo near Stromness in Orkney. 

The Penguin is being towed to Orkney by the MTS Victory and is expected to arrive in Lyness, Orkney, early next week. Its progress can be tracked on a Google map using the Live AIS Ship Tracking service, marinetraffic.com.

The 1600-tonne Penguin device is around 30 metres long, nine metres in height and has a draft of around seven metres. As a result, only two metres are visible above the water surface. It is the product of a five-year development programme, which saw the size of prototype devices gradually increased until the current 500 kilowatt (kW) model which is to be tested at EMEC.

The Penguin is designed to capture rotational energy generated by the movement of its asymmetrically shaped hull, which rolls, heaves and pitches with each passing wave. This motion is used to accelerate and maintain the revolutions of a spinning flywheel housed inside the hull, which in turn drives an electric generator to produce electricity that is then exported via a subsea cable.

Wello's Chief Executive Officer, Heikki Paakkinen commented: "We are delighted that the Penguin will be deployed in Orkney, which has established itself as the leading location in the world for marine energy developments." 

"EMEC was the natural choice for the test programme. The centre has an excellent reputation and we can expect all the facilities we need as Penguin is put thought its paces in some challenging wave conditions."

Upon arrival in Orkney, the Penguin’s entire deployment programme will be managed by a team of Orkney-based companies, led by Stromness-based consultancy Aquatera and new marine operations management company, Orcades Marine Management Consultants.

Gareth Davies, Managing Director of Aquatera said: "Aquatera, Orcades Marine and our partners have unsurpassable local knowledge of sea conditions around Orkney, coupled with world-leading experience and expertise of testing marine renewables devices. This enables our team to provide Wello with holistic operational support for the deployment and testing of the Penguin device at EMEC’s wave energy test site."