Pelamis Wave Power is widely recognised as the world’s most advanced wave power developer. They are the inventor, designer, manufacturer and operator of the Pelamis Wave Energy Machine and seek to harness wave energy in order to meet the global need for clean, sustainable, renewable power generation.

Pelamis has a track record of significant achievements and world firsts:

  • The world’s first export of electricity from an offshore wave energy converter to an onshore grid network
  • Supply and commissioning of the world’s first multiple machine wave farm
  • Securing the UK’s first commercial orders for wave energy converters from utility customers E.ON and ScottishPower Renewables
  • An unrivalled pipeline of commercial projects, including customer led developments for Crown Estate

Company history

Founded in 1998 by Pelamis inventor Dr Richard Yemm, alongside Dr David Pizer and Dr Chris Retzler, prototyped the first Pelamis wave energy converter.

Following the successful testing of the full scale prototype machine, an order was secured for three full scale Pelamis machines from Portuguese electricity utility Enersis. Officially opened in September 2008, the Aguçadoura Wave Farm was located off the northwest coast of Portugal and had a total installed capacity of 2.25MW.

Wave machine in the water

In February 2009, E.ON placed an order for the first of a next generation Pelamis machine, the P2. The second Pelamis P2 machine to be sold to a utility customer was announced in March 2010, when Pelamis secured an order from ScottishPower Renewables, part of Iberdrola Renewables.

Read more about Pelamis’s ongoing projects

Working for Pelamis

Pelamis Wave Power is committed to working with talented and innovative professionals who are passionate about the work that we do.

Pelamis’s dedicated team have expertise covering a range of disciplines including:

  • hydraulic
  • electrical
  • structural and offshore engineering
  • software and electronic design
  • project development and communications.

Find our more about working for Pelamis

Our facilities

Edinburgh facilitiesPelamis Wave Power is based in Edinburgh, Scotland, with further operations in Orkney. Our headquarters are in Leith Docks, Edinburgh, including our design office, engineering department, and a large assembly hall and quayside. The location within Leith Docks provides convenience for the launching and towing of assembled machines, and electrical connection at quayside means machines can be commissioned at ease before being towed to a project site in Scottish waters.

Our facility in Orkney is located at Lyness on the island of Hoy. Lyness offers a sheltered harbour where inspection and maintenance work can be safely and efficiently carried out on Pelamis machines whilst not deployed onsite. Pelamis originally used the facility at Lyness as the maintenance base for operations of the prototype Pelamis machine.

Pelamis Technology

The Pelamis is an offshore wave energy converter that uses the motion of waves to generate electricity.

The machine operates in water depths greater than 50m and is typically installed 2-10km from the coast.

The machine is rated at 750kW with a target capacity factor of 25-40 per cent, depending on the conditions at the chosen project site. On average one machine will provide sufficient power to meet the annual electricity demand of approximately 500 homes.

Pelamis Wave Power have produced six full-scale Pelamis machines to date, including two of the latest ‘P2’ design machine.

How the Pelamis works

The Pelamis machine is made up of five tube sections linked by universal joints which allow flexing in two directions. The machine floats semi-submerged on the surface of the water and inherently faces into the direction of the waves. As waves pass down the length of the machine and the sections bend in the water, the movement is converted into electricity via hydraulic power take-off systems housed inside each joint of the machine tubes, and power is transmitted to shore using standard subsea cables and equipment.

The power take-off system is driven by hydraulic cylinders at the joints, which resist the wave-induced motion and pump fluid into high pressure accumulators, allowing generation to be smooth and continuous.

Control of the resistance applied by the hydraulic cylinders allows generation to be maximised when waves are small, and the machine response to be minimised in storms.

Next steps

Visit Pelamis’s website

Call them on 0131 554 8444