How it started

The concept was invented by sailing enthusiasts brothers Niels and Keld Hansen in 2000. The idea was to create a regular output of energy from waves. This was achieved with a row of floats, which rise and fall in turn as the wave passes forming the iconic part of Wave Star’s design. This allows energy to be continually produced despite waves being periodic.

The first concept was built by Niels and Keld in 2000. This project can be seen in the video.

In 2001 the brothers got in contact with Aalborg University. Extensive tank testing was performed on a scale 1:40 model with the sole purpose of optimising the basic configuration of the system and to document the electrical power production in typical North Sea waves.

More than 1,300 different test runs were performed at Aalborg University to optimise the concept and were used to document any technical questions about the concept as they arose from the testing.

Bigger model

In 2003 the Clausen brothers, the family behind Danfoss saw the potential of wave energy. They purchased the rights to the machine and were now a part of the furhter development that lead to the 1:10 model.

In 2005 the first grid connected scale 1:10 model was designed and built for operation in the sea at Nissum Bredning where the waves are approx. 1:10 of North Sea waves. This was designed as a big scale machine in order to learn about the practical issues of operation in the sea. The system contained all the instrumentation and control systems necessary to work unattended round the clock.

After the final dry testing, the scale 1:10 model was installed on 6 April 2006 and put into round the clock operation on 24 July 2006. Since then it has logged more than 15,000 operational hours in the sea and been through 15 storms without any significant damage. This has proven the capabilities and longetivity of Wave Stars ability to deal with the massive forces of the nature.

Half scale

The test section of the 600 kW machine was installed at Hanstholm the 18 September 2009, the installation was performed in two days. A bridge was built to access the machine in autumn 2009 and the first guest could visit the plan during the COP15. The machine got connected to the power grid in February 2010.

Since May 2010 a monthly production report was made and delivered to Energinet.dk.

The reports contained both wave information (wave height, period,..) and also information on wind (speed, direction…). EnergiNet.dk studied the data to show a correlation between wind and wave.

In start of 2012 Wave Star, DONG Energy, Aalborg University and Energinet.dk started working together to evaluate in practice the idea of combining the energy production from wind and wave technologies.

Continuous optimization

Since the construciton of the 1:2 Wave Star, the focus has been on development and optimization. This has been done on all designs of the construction, which leads to further developments you can see under the category “Technology” at the top.