EGP Presents its First Marine Machine

Published on Tuesday, 29 November 2016

H24 is the first EGP machine for producing energy from waves in the sea. Created by the Pisa company 40South Energy, it is meant for shallow water and is perfectly suited to the Mediterranean Sea.

With Enel Green Power, energy even comes from the sea. After four years of collaboration with the Pisa company 40South Energy, EGP has a new marine machine capable of producing energy directly from the waves of the Mediterranean Sea. It’s called H24, a name given because of its ability to intercept the smallest wave motions throughout the day, and becomes part of our production family, laying the groundwork for the development of a new technological line with huge potential.

As Armando Giacomi, head of IBO (Innovation Business Opportunities) Marine Energy for Enel Green Power, explains, “the H24 machine uses, with its WEC (Wave Energy Converter) an extremely simple mode of conversion.  It transforms, with a "TEP" (Transmission Electronic and Power), the alternating straight line motion of a mobile element pushed by the motion of the waves in a circular motion capable of producing electricity. In other words, H24 transforms the push of the waves into electric energy through the principle of a dynamo, that is, the same thing that allows bicycle lights to turn on by using its motion”.

In H24, however, there is much more: so much innovation, versatility and business potential. The Project Manager, Andres De Vicente, says that "first of all, H24 is meant for shallow water and is perfectly suited to the wave conditions of the Mediterranean Sea. It can be easily used for small islands thanks to its smaller size compared to other marine machines (usually from 100 kW up). With its 50 KW, it easily meets the needs of the small islands themselves, where the cost of electric energy is particularly high because of the difficulties of diesel refuelling”.

Armando Giacomi reiterates that the “economic” aspect is fundamental, because it allows for industrial development of the technology through the positioning of the machines of this kind in specific niche markets that will then allow lucrative experimentation potentially useful for a later increase in size. “And the increase in size and ‘multistep’ configurations suited to oceanic wave conditions are the real challenge in the medium-term. Creating an array of marine machines of dozens of MW each without occupying space or visually altering it is the challenge that awaits us, especially at those latitudes in which the resource is enormous and not seasonal, like Chile or South Africa”.

Having an early, small machine means taking the first big step toward potential future advantages for Enel. The company will be able to identify the most interesting production sites where plants could be placed in the future and, at the same time, acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for the management of machines of this productive chain when, in the not-so-distant future, marine technologies will be ready and competitive with other renewables.