U.S. Funds New Ocean Power Research

Credit: Columbia Power Technologies
Credit: Columbia Power Technologies

By The Maritime Executive 01-08-2019 06:21:04

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has allocated $25 million to research projects for next-generation marine energy devices. 

Funded by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Water Power Technologies Office, the 12 projects are expected to help the U.S. develop ocean power as a part of its all-of-the-above energy strategy. 

The projects are:

Early Stage Device Design Research                          

Oscilla Power from Seattle, Washington, will demonstrate the effectiveness its wave energy converter through open-ocean scaled testing in partnership with the University of Maine.

Atargis Energy Corporation from Colorado will advance its wave energy converter through numerical simulations at the model scale, as well as 1:20 scale wave tank tests.

Columbia Power Technologies from Virginia will design and test a prototype low-power wave energy converter that reduces costs and provides a quickly deployable mobile power system for maritime sensors, monitoring, and communications equipment.

Littoral Power Systems of Massachusetts will improve on its turbine design to increase power, reduce costs, and test a fully integrated sub-scale prototype that is ready for pilot site installation.

University of Hawaii will advance its wave energy converter concept and conduct testing in the open ocean. 

North Carolina State University will develop integrated numerical models and open water experimental prototypes for an energy-harvesting ocean kite system.

Texas A&M University will develop and test a scaled prototype of its surface-riding wave energy converter which will be ready for open-sea testing at the end of the project.

Florida Atlantic University will develop and prototype a low-flow marine current turbine to provide partial power to recharge battery banks onboard an unmanned mobile at-sea recharge station for aerial drones and potentially other unmanned marine vehicles.

Controls and Power Take Off Design Integration and Testing

Portland State University will demonstrate a newly-invented adjustable magnetic spring that allows for greater power adjustability and controllability.

CalWave Power Technologies from California will improve on its sub-scale prototype by integrating a new control architecture to improve costs and efficiency.

AWS Ocean Energy from Delaware will optimize a prototype hydraulic/electrical system and demonstrate performance in a laboratory environment.

Dissemination of Environmental Data 

Kearns and West from California will develop a marine and hydrokinetic energy environmental permitting toolkit that includes a spatial, regulatory, and document database of information. The project will address the complexities of permitting processes through a consolidation and dissemination of relevant and actionable information needed for efficient permitting.