Direct generation competition round one results

Round one of Direct Generation Concept Design Competition draws to a close.

Direct Generation (DG) is the application of novel electrostatic generation technologies. In the application of wave energy, Dielectric Elastomer Generators (DEGs) and Dielectric Fluid Generators (DFGs) can directly transform movement (stretching, twisting, bending) of a material, into electrical energy. This offers opportunities for significant cost reduction of WEC technologies. 

WES sought to investigate the potential benefits and opportunities of these technologies through a DG Concept Creation Competition. Round 1 of this competition has now drawn to a close where the lead project partners involved in the competition were: 

  • 4c Engineering 
  • AWS Ocean Energy 
  • University of Southampton 
  • WaveX 
  • TTI Marine Renewables 

These five project teams generated numerous innovative concepts, which were down-selected through a blend of qualitative and quantitative engineering methods. The selected designs underwent further refinement through analytical and numerical modelling approaches which informed high-level estimates on the performance and cost of energy. 

Throughout this process, the teams identified the R&D requirements to progress these technologies further, with the aims of further collaboration with the appropriate R&D partners. A more detailed overview of the projects can be found here. 

The next stage will build on the outcomes of this competition by further elaborating on DG design through the use of two focussed design projects over a 9-month timespan. 

Jonathan Hodges, Innovation and Strategy Manager said: 

“Round 1 of the Direct Generation Concept Design Competition delivered a valuable strategic step in the investigation of this promising technology area. The 5 teams developed concept design and evaluation processes and used them to identify WEC concepts which will act as vehicles for further study. By assessing the feasibility of these concepts, the projects built a clear understanding of the enabling R&D requirements and a well-informed community of collaborators able to push towards the technical maturity of direct generation technologies needed to launch focused wave device development. 

"The Round 1 leads have been invited to bid for two Round 2 projects, each receiving up to £200k to continue concept evaluation and, importantly, work with the best partners to initiate enabling R&D projects. WES wants to see the community continue to create collaborations, engage with other sectors, seek wider funding and build momentum, seeking more opportunities to exploit the potential of direct generation in wave energy and beyond.” 

Find more detail on each of the successful projects here.