US Energy Department splashes $12M to advance wave energy

Illustration/CalWave Power testing its WEC (Photo: Wave Energy Prize)

 
Energy Department of the United States has awarded funding to four projects to support the development of marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) technologies.

The funding will enable two projects to test and validate wave energy converter prototypes in open water, while the other two will seek to address important early-stage MHK technology development challenges.

The funded projects include those from AquaHarmonics, and California Wave Power Technologies (CWPT), the winner and a runner-up respectively in the Energy Department-funded Wave Energy Prize public competition whose goal was to increase the energy capture potential of wave energy devices.

AquaHarmonics will build a larger version of its winning point absorber with latching/de-clutching control wave energy device for open-ocean testing, while the CalWave Power Technologies will do the same for its submerged pressure differential device.

Also, the funding was awarded to Portland State University to develop a multistage, magnetically geared generator with airtight casing to improve the cost, reliability, and efficiency of MHK devices.

The fourth company to receive the funding is ReVision Consulting of Sacramento for a project that will integrate wave measurements from radar and buoys to better predict ocean waves and provide data to wave energy converter device controllers.

Accurate wave-prediction technology can help WECs more efficiently convert energy from waves into electricity, according to the US Department of Energy.

Alejandro Moreno, Director of the Water Power Technologies Office, said: “Research and development in MHK technology will let America develop new water energy resources that can provide reliable electricity close to load—be it a remote village, major city, or distributed application, like forward-operating military bases or subsea data centers. MHK also provides an opportunity to develop new energy markets and create jobs.”

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