BPS rolls in $1.6M for wave energy tech

O-Drive power conversion module (Photo: BPS)

BioPower Systems (BPS) has secured funds from the Australian government for a project looking to develop a standardized power conversion module for ocean energy applications.

The funding, in the amount of Au$2.1 million ($1.59 million), is provided under the third round of the Cooperative Research Centre Projects (CRC-P) initiative, supporting short-term industry-led collaborations to solve problems and deliver tangible outcomes for a range of industries.

BPS has designed a power conversion module for wave energy projects called O-Drive as a plug-and-play solution for converting the mechanical energy absorbed from the waves into grid-quality electricity.

The O-Drive module comes with built-in short-term storage to improve grid stability, according to BPS.

Aside from BPS, the project also includes C.N.C. Design, Hydac, and the University of Adelaide.

Arthur Sinodinos, the Australian Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, said: “The CRC Program has a long history of developing real-world solutions, and each project will apply high-quality research to solving an industry-specific issue, or developing new products, technologies or services.

“By facilitating business involvement in collaborative research, the CRC Projects strongly align with the Australian government’s commitment to improve the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of Australian industries.”

To remind, BPS’ O-Drive power-take off module was verified by the certification body DNV GL in October 2015, ahead of deployment of its 250kW bioWAVE wave energy device that took place couple of months later off Port Fairy in Victoria, Australia.

The BioWAVE device comprises a 26-metre tall oscillating structure that sways back and forth beneath the ocean swell, capturing energy from the waves and converting it into electricity fed into the grid via an undersea cable.

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