28 May 2013: Waves - art, energy and history - report

Post date: 9 sept. 2013 09:10:14

19 participants from 7 institutes joined the BGF trip to Kystmuseet in Øygarden 28 May 2013:

After arrival at Kystmuseet we first watched a 10 minute video about the wave power plants at Toftestallen, and a historical video about life in Øygarden in former times. This was followed by an interesting tour through the permanent historical exhibition, guided by Bjørg Christophersen. After eating Betasuppe we watched the temporal exhibition of wave paintings from the by Extreme Wave Theory Project of the British painter Janette Kerr.

Afterwards we drove 10 minutes southwards, to visit the ruins of the two power plants at Toftestallen.

From the parking place we walked 15-20 minutes, first on gravel path, and then in the rocky terrain out to the cliffs where the ruins power plants are located.

First we passed the "Tapchan" plant, which was designed and constructed by the company Norwave Technology from Oslo. This first prototype was built in 1986 and was operated until 1991. It is based on the principle of waves being lead through a narrowing concrete channel, and splashing over to fill a basin. A generator then extracts energy from the water returning to sea level.

Some webpages which illustrate the concept:

An illustrating video.

An attempt to widen the channel lead to a blasting accident which destroyed the plant. It was thereafter shut down in 1991, and Norwave Technologies went bankrupt the same year. There were also suspicion of economical criminality, as discussed in these two articles from Bergens Tidende:

The dam and the generator house.

The generator?

A video from the site on a more stormy day, filmed by Stig-Arild Fagerli.

More pictures and information about the wave power plants are found on the blog of Eivind Salen.

A few hundred meters further out, we see the ruins of the second wave power plant. This was based on a very different principle, and was developed by the Norwegian company Kværner Brug.

The foundation . After a violent storm the fixing bolts were broken, and the whole plant fell into the sea.

The history of this plant is found on a German website.

An automatic translation by Google is given below:

The second pilot plant depends, a powerful organ pipe equal, in a rock alcove west of the city of Bergen and works like a water flask. The 'Swinging column' was after four years of development, already in 1984 by the Kvaerner Brug AS established in Oslo. It is a stable concrete of about 16 m high with a seaward open chamber into which run in the waves. It comprises under the water surface A 3.5 m wide opening which opens in a vertical concrete shaft, an air turbine located in the upper part thereof having a diameter of 2 m and a weight of 9 t. The pent-up in the chamber shaft drives water into the bay: the water level rises. When the shaft runs and flows, the water level decreases again it oscillates with the frequency of up to 7 m swell up and down and acts like a piston, driving the air from the chamber through the turbine and through the turbine back into the chamber sucks.
The used herein, Wells turbine 'retains regardless of the direction of flow of air always in the same direction, and this. With a fairly uniform speed of 1,000 to 1,500 r / min The plant should have had 500 kW of power. However, was objected to the extremely high volume of air propeller, rather sounded like a siren.
In early 1989, the company announced that a violent storm had torn the test facility, and sent out to the open sea where they had fallen. It is impossible to predict whether the plant, which had cost DM 106 million, could be recovered again.
There are also attempts to Norway, bundling 'of shafts to a depth of 30 m using so-called, wave lenses'. It is estimated that a 150 km long chain of 1 kW shaft generators could the total annual demand of 70 billion kilowatt-hours cover (as of 1980).

Recently there has been a debate whether or not to remove the ruins of the power plants at Toftestallen:

Bjørg Christophersen from Kystmuseet guiding the BGF participants.

Afterwards we enjoyed the cross-institutional company, and the nice views.

More photos taken by Stig-Arild Fagerli are found here