TEAMER Network Director Announces RFTS 11 Technical Support Recipients

On January 9, 2024, the U.S. Testing Expertise and Access to Marine Energy Research (TEAMER) program announced the selection of ten projects through its eleventh Request for Technical Support (RFTS), reflecting a total funding amount of nearly $1.3 million. These projects will receive support for testing expertise and access to numerical modeling, laboratory or bench testing, tank/flume testing, and expertise within the growing TEAMER Facility Network. Selected applicants, along with their supporting Facility, will now submit their completed Test Plans, a requirement before assistance activities can commence. Applications for RFTS 12 are currently being accepted through March 1, 2024.

Supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and directed by the Pacific Ocean Energy Trust, TEAMER accelerates the viability of marine renewables by providing access to the nation’s best facilities and expertise to solve critical challenges, build knowledge, foster innovation, and drive commercialization.

The following projects have been selected to proceed:

Dehlsen Associates, LLC – CFD Modeling of Full-scale Centipod WEC

Facility: Sandia National Laboratories

Dehlsens’s Centipod Wave Energy Converter (WEC) is a two-part point absorber, which generates power from the relative motion of the two main moving parts. The concept behind the device can be described as a surface buoy connected to a positively buoyant backbone, which is anchored to the seabed with mooring lines. The surface buoy is excited by incoming waves creating relative motion between the buoy and the backbone. This piston motion drives a power take off system which converts the kinetic energy to electrical energy. By modeling the behavior of the device at full-scale and under expected oceanic conditions, Dehlsen will gain a better understanding of the expected structural loads and operational performance of the Centipod device.

Verdant Power, Inc. – Current Energy Converter Blade Testing – Static Test of an Epoxy Blade to Failure

Facility: National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Verdant Power, Inc, in conjunction with NREL, requests TEAMER funding to advance the state-of-the-art in the prediction and validation of extreme blade loading for current energy converters. Utilizing the turbine blade testing expertise at, and history with, NREL, this campaign will conduct a controlled static test to failure of the Verdant Power Gen5d epoxy turbine blade design that performed successfully at RITE. Results will validate model predictions for extreme loads and confirm the design and manufacturing of these blades include a sufficient safety factor to ensure the 20-year lifetime. Lessons learned will enable cost reductions in the design and manufacturing by avoiding the over-design of future turbine blades while further validating the FAST model as an important tool for the design of current energy converters.

University of Hawai’i at Mānoa – Experimental Study of a Dual-Function Slotted Barrier Integrated With Oscillating Water Column for Wave Energy Extraction and Shore Protection

Facility: Oregon State University Wave Research Laboratory

For future harbor installation and coastal protection, a dual functional fixed oscillating water column (OWC) ocean wave energy converter is proposed to function as a breakwater and a power plant for nearby onshore facilities. The assistance request is to test a large scale model in OSU Hinsdale wave flume and compare the results to small scale model from UH Manoa’s wave flume, subject the model to irregular wave test conditions, analyze the turbine performance, wave loading on the structure, and near bed velocity profile. These are required to further understand the performance of the model in more life-like conditions in terms of breakwater functionality, power efficiency, and structure stability. Overall cost may be reduced by achieving lower design limits and maximizing extraction of wave energy.

Carnegie Clean Energy Ltd. – Extreme Wave Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling with 1-Way Fluid Structure Interaction for a Wave Energy Converter

Facility: National Renewable Energy Laboratory

A successful wave energy convertor (WEC) design needs to produce significant power during operation conditions and survive in extreme conditions. Numerical simulations should be representative of the wide spectrum of operational and extreme conditions. Under extreme conditions, the wave kinematics and the excitation loads on an absorber deviate from potential flow predictions. In these conditions, Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models can accurately predict motions and loads for a WEC. A unique CFD approach is used to validate the model predicting WEC hydrodynamics in specified extreme wave events identified from an experimental campaign. This method can be applied for any specified wave. A one-way fluid structure interaction (FSI) analysis is performed to determine possible critical ultimate stress concentrations.

SRI International – Hydrodynamic Modelling for Tidal Energy Kites

Facility: National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Tidal energy kites are a unique type of turbine that extracts power from tidal currents by ‘flying’ a kite underwater. These kites can benefit from operating near or through the surface. Such benefits include enhanced safety, ease of operation with local resources, and ease of adjusting the kite motion and location for a given site or seasonally in order to maximize tidal energy. In this work, we will develop new models for understanding the behavior of kites as they travel through the water column, including piercing the surface. These models will be important to develop control systems and design features that help maintain stability and performance. Tidal kites could overcome many challenges experienced by traditional turbines, enabling access to a new form of clean energy.

Columbia Power Technologies, Inc. – Investigation of Alternate Material Design Methods for Wave Power System (WPS) Ballast and Hull Systems

Facility: Cardinal Engineering

This investigation will pursue two areas of cost reduction in wave power systems (WPS), using C-Power’s StingRAY as a case study. The first area of study will be the cost savings of replacing a steel ballast tank with a stiffened concrete tank. The second area of study will be the weight and cost savings of methods for design of complex joints where major components of composite and metallic construction intersect.

The expected outcome is an understanding of strength, stability, and cost of these hybrid material design concepts, and their suitability for inclusion in WPS’ designs. Overall suitability of design techniques will be assessed through impact on mass, power-to-weight ratio, and capital and operational costs.

Future Island Impact – Long Island Sound Resource Assessment

Facility: Integral Consulting Inc.

Future Island Impact’s (FII) mission is to deploy operational tidal turbines in Long Island Sound (LIS) to help Connecticut meet decarbonization and coastal resilience goals and future energy needs. FII requests Teamer funds to complete a desktop study of LIS as a key component to understanding its tidal energy capacity, and physical and environmental constraints. This study will run parallel with research into Connecticut policy, stakeholder engagement and market assessments. Not just a resource characterization, the study will designate test sites and enable further study of potential devices and power conversion performance. Publicly available research from Hass (2011), Levy (2016, 2021), Verdant Power (East River – RITE project) and others that identify LIS as a promising tidal energy site are the basis of our request.

Wavewatts Inc. – Preliminary Performance Analysis for the Wavewatts Wave Energy Converter

Facility: WEC-Sim Facility

Renewable energy costs have declined but are still unable to consistently meet power consumption demands when needed most. The Wavewatts concept is able to consistently deliver critical dispatchable renewable energy by directly converting large and slow moving forces of wave energy into compressed air. The stored energy in compressed air has many potential applications, such as in aquaculture, desalination, and dispatchable utility scale power.

This investigation looks to confirm the anticipated performance and dynamics of this two body Wave Energy Converter. It aims to calculate the anticipated annual mechanical energy harvest (which can be used to determine compressed air production) and determine the general design parameters that optimize the energy harvest of the device.

Lancaster University – TALOS Wave Energy Converter Optimization

Facility: WEC-Sim Facility

Our research proposal requests technical support to significantly enhance the TALOS wave energy converter’s (WEC) efficiency, leveraging the integration of advanced numerical methods and optimization techniques. By utilizing SciPy optimize alongside existing WEC modeling tools (including Capytaine and WEC-Sim), our goal is to refine the TALOS system’s design, mass distribution, and power take-off (PTO) dynamics to maximize energy capture from ocean waves. This initiative aims to provide a novel, effective, clean energy source. Our collaborative effort aims to partner American expertise with an international programme, utilizing the unique TALOS multi-axis WEC design to contribute meaningful advancements in renewable energy technology.

AOE Accumulated Ocean Energy Inc – Tank Testing of AOE Accumulated Ocean Energy Wave Energy Converter

Facility: Oregon State University Wave Research Laboratory

AOE’s point absorber style wave energy converter will be emulated using Oregon State University’s LUPA WEC data acquisition buoy at OH Hinsdale Wave Lav and compared with a 1/10 scale numerical model device. This test will both validate the modelling and simulations completed by Pacific Regional Institute for Marine Energy Discovery and will demonstrate the operation and capacity of the scaled unit. The tank testing programs will precede a separate program conducting open ocean testing at PacWave. The LUPA PTO emulator model will be modified to emulate pressure, rather than direct drive loads as currently operated. Testing will be conducted in the Large Wave Flume facilities. The LUPA device will be modified by AOE to physically represent the AOE WEC separately from this submission.