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3D Printing of coastal protection Reefs

The Albanian coastline has been declining in recent years due to coastal erosion and uncontrolled...

OBREC

To overcome the high costs of installations of Wave Energy Devices and of the energy transfer to the shore, an innovative solution has been developed. This Overtopping BReakwater for the Energy Conversion (OBREC) is a multifunctional device, which combines harbor protection and energy production. OBREC was developed and patented by the Università degli Studi della Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli".

Developed by Università degli Studi della Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli"

The OBREC device consists of a concrete top element, which can be installed in new or existing breakwater, e.g. during maintenance operations. It is provided with a sloping plate that conveys the overtopping waves inside a reservoir, which later flow in the rear chamber, where the turbines should be installed. The front reservoir captures the overtopping waves to produce electricity. The energy can be then extracted via low head turbines, which should be powered by a constant hydraulic head.

TRL6. Prototype system verified
Technology demonstrated in relevant environment. Representative model or prototype system, which is well beyond that of TRL 5, is tested in a relevant environment. Represents a major step up in a technology’s demonstrated readiness. Examples include testing a prototype in a high-fidelity laboratory environment or in a simulated operational environment. Many series of small scale lab tests in wave flume and tanks. Prototype installation (June 2016) of a 5 m wide OBREC in the port of Naples. The installation will include monitoring of nearshore waves, wave run-up, pressure on the structure, wave overtopping and power production.

See more information about this level and the TRL and SRL levels.

The main components of the system have been tested separately, and an initial integration exercise has been conducted.

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Collaborators

How does it work?

OBREC is provided with a sloping plate that conveys the overtopping waves inside a reservoir, which later flow in the rear chamber, where the turbines should be installed. The front reservoir captures the overtopping waves to produce electricity. The principle is to use the difference in water levels between the reservoir and the mean sea water level. The energy can be then extracted via low head turbines, which should be powered by a constant hydraulic head. The OBREC cross section will be optimized in order to improve its performance, i.e. minimize the risk and increase the energy production in terms of discharges rates flowing inside the rear chamber.

Limitations/conditions under which this innovation does not work or is less effective

The device is always effective in both ordinary and extreme conditions, reducing the overtopping discharge rate at the rear side of the structure and therefore the risk of flooding. As for energy productiùon the device configuration has to be optimized to account for sea level change due to microtidal regimes and sea level rise.

Added value
Other onshore devices have been installed in the recent past in Europe without becoming a commercial opportunity. The OBREC can be designed and installed also when doing maintenance and does not require the adhoc construction of caissons or breakwaters.

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