LOW O&M COSTS
O&M costs are the other essential cost element to attain an attractive Cost of Electricity (CoE). Most are well aware of the dramatically shortened lifecycle of components operating in salt water. Even with the use of expensive stainless steels, water ingression, and algae and barnacle growth are still major issues affecting underwater components which typically causes them to fail prematurely with O&M costs escalating.
Additionally the high costs of divers to service underwater equipment and or time to tow power plants to port and compounding downtime losses can result in prohibitive O&M costs.
Increasing availability through reducing downtime is also significant to increase revenues. It is expected a WEC will need to approach land based O&M costs to be commercially viable.
The mounting costs due to poorly considered O&M strategies include;
- The higher costs of divers to service underwater equipment and the increased time required for divers to achieve the same operations underwater are believed to increase costs by more than double.
- As the depth increases past 50m additional time is required for divers to stop on the ascent to avoid the bends.
- If a power plant is required to be towed back to port severely compounds downtime losses as tow back and return times can be lengthy with loss in electricity production also further increasing losses.
An account of the estimated increase in O&M different costs from a base of operating in a dry environment and having 24/7 availability and serviceability are graphically illustrated below.
ATTRIBUTES OF THE WAVE XTRACTA
The Xtracta has industry best low O&M costs and high availability:
- All major components/ equipment operate in a dry, salt water free environment in an accessible housing.
- All major components can be readily serviced on site 24/7 rain or shine avoiding costly divers and or requiring being towed back to a port for a routine or unscheduled service.
- The simple drive train can be easily disengaged for servicing.
- Components are off the shelf.