Lars Golmen (NIVA) – Ocean Energy Developments at Runde
Runde Environmental Centre is an international research station that facilitates monitoring and research on the environment and serves as a test facility for ocean energy. On the 31st of October, Lars Golmen, partner in the Runde Environmental Centre and manager of the wave energy test site, gave an introduction to the center and spoke about recent ocean energy developments at the site.
Lars Golmen is a senior research scientist at the Norwegian Institute for Water Research. He has expertise in fjord- and coastal oceanography, including measurements, modelling and environmental assessments. As a partner in the Runde Environmental Centre and manager of the wave-energy test site, he is part of very exciting times in terms of wave energy development.
A wave energy device placed in the ocean outside Runde started delivering power to the Norwegian grid in June this year. The 100 kW WaveEL buoy device, installed and run by the Swedish company Waves4Power, is a point absorber that converts the energy in the waves into power. It consists of a buoy with a vertical tube passing through it, and inside the tube, there is a water piston connected to a power conversion system. As the buoy and the connected tube moves up and down with the waves, the water column inside the tube will move differently. By placing a piston connected to a hydraulic conversion system in the tube, electricity can be generated from this relative motion. Read more about the wave power device at Runde here.
Finally, Lars briefly spoke about his main passion when it comes to ocean energy, Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC). OTEC uses the temperature difference between the upper ocean layers and cold, deep water to produce electricity. It has a great global potential, particularly in locations close to the equator, and also the advantage that it is able to generate a constant power supply.