TEAMER Network Director Announces RFTS 12 Technical Support Recipients

On May 14, 2024, the U.S. Testing Expertise and Access to Marine Energy Research (TEAMER) program announced the selection of eleven projects through its twelfth Request for Technical Support (RFTS), reflecting a total funding amount of over $1.1 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 13 are currently being accepted through June 28, 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:

CalWave Power Technologies Inc.
xWave – ABS Path to Certification – Prototype Validation Stage

Facility: American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)

Under RFTS 3, the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) provided expert, independent review of CalWave’s technology development and advancement of the xWave system on concept feasibility and verification stages. In this project we will continue the New Technology Qualification (NTQ) process with ABS on prototype validation stage. The review includes engineering design documentation, numerical modeling, multiple rounds of wave tank testing and power take-off (PTO) bench testing, as well as anchoring and mooring design and operations/logistics planning documents. The intent of the review is to illustrate a Path to Certification, using the ABS NTQ process. Providing certification for marine energy systems is critical for unlocking project financing and insurability or commercial deployments.

C-Power
Optimization of a Wave Power System (WPS) Structure and Interfaces for Generator Integration

Facility: Cardinal Engineering
 
This project will investigate best design practices to integrate a novel segmented, direct drive permanent magnet generator (PMG) into a utility-scale wave power system (WPS). A successful design will minimize the structural mass and reduce manufacturing cost, while meeting requirements for ultimate and fatigue strength, and generator airgap control. Metrics used o evaluate impact include mass reduction, capital expense reduction, power performance improvement, and power-to-weight ratio improvement, all assessed with respect to the current WPS baseline design. Results of this investigation are intended to both optimize C-Power’s StingRAY WPS and benefit generator integration design practices in the greater marine energy industry.

University of Alaska Fairbanks
Riverine Hydrokinetics Torsional Cable Testing

Facility: ETA International, Inc.
 
UAF will provide a torsional cable test article to ETA to perform long duration axial and torsional stress testing on a rig at their facility. The cable will be submerged in water and acted upon by time-varying torsional and axial loads provided by hydraulic actuators. These loads are based on loading data collected during field testing, with the goal to accumulate cycles equal to approximately 27 months of field operations. This data will provide insight on the evolution of torsional cable stiffness over accumulated cycles and enable validation of cable structural models.

Equinox Ocean Turbines BV
Setting up a Mid-Fidelity Numerical Modeling Approach for Two-Stage Ocean Current Turbines

Facility: National Renewable Energy Laboratory
 
The Equinox Ocean Current turbine is a groundbreaking new two-stage turbine design, enabling cost effective power generation at low water velocities. This design dramatically reduces cost of the power take-off, but also simplifies the mooring solution. Given the unique design, no existing modeling tools can be directly used for analysis or optimization. Existing models can give estimates of performance, but do not capture the complex interactions between the main rotor and tip turbines. This project aims to modify and tune available mid-fidelity modelling tools like OpenFAST and associated libraries in such a way that the most relevant interactions between these two turbine stages are captured, in such a way that a robust modeling approach is created.

Tide Mill Institute
Resource Characterization for Community Scale Tidal Instream Energy in Maine

Facility: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
 
The goal of this TEAMER project is to evaluate tidal instream resources along the Maine coast that are suitable for community scale tidal power generation, e.g., approximately 1 MW or less. Previous studies have emphasized larger scale tidal flow sites along the Maine coast. The TEAMER study will consider smaller tidal flow sites unevaluated or under evaluated in previous studies, which can potentially provide power need to the isolated coastal communities. The methods developed in this study will have the potential to be used for evaluation of many more community scale sites along the Maine coast and other remote coastal region. The TEAMER study will also demonstrate that community scale electricity can be generated in these sites using existing marine energy turbine technology.

Neowave Energy
Development of a Wave-to-Wire Numerical Model of the Neowave Point Absorber WEC

Facility: WEC-Sim
 
The Neowave WEC is a simple, scalable, and stackable point absorber. Its floating body is made of commercial parts and recyclable materials. Its manufacturing and assembly processes use traditional methods, currently available in developing countries, which make it accessible for remote communities. It was initially designed using basic principles to define the entry conditions of the system: Geometry, forces, flow rates, and energy generation potential. Based on these calculations, a functional prototype at 1:30 scale was manufactured getting a TRL 3. The next step in Neowave’s WEC research efforts and the main objective of this project, is to develop a reliable and accurate numerical wave-to-wire model o the point absorber WEC that could be used to evaluate and demonstrate Neowave’s potential for wave energy generation.

North Carolina State University
Dynamic Power Response Testing for Tethered Coaxial Hydrokinetic Turbines

Facility: Navy Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division (NSWCCD)
 
Marine hydrokinetic (MHK) energy technologies offer clean energy from largely untapped sources such as ocean currents, tidal flows, and river currents. Tethered coaxial turbines (TCTs) consist of two sets of turbine blades which are attached to the rotor and stator of a single generator and contra-rotate in response to incoming flow. A flexible tether cable with swivel connection moors the turbine to the seafloor and carries power to shore. TCTs require less structure and components than other turbines of the same power rating, potentially lowering material and deployment costs. This TEAMER application proposes to test a prototype TCT, developed by North Carolina State University, in the NSWC Carderock Deep Water Tow Basin to demonstrate control of the turbine’s operation to maximize power output.

Cornell University
Heterogeneous WEC Array Interactions and Far-Field Wake Effects

Facility: Oregon State Directional Wave Basin
 
The Cornell SEA Lab is requesting TEAMER funds to test a wave energy converter (WEC) array. We have multiple scaled prototypes of heaving point absorbers and oscillating surge WECs. We want to test these prototypes in varying array configurations to analyze wake effects, body motion, benefits of heterogeneous (different modes of power extraction) arrays, and individualized controls. We have developed preliminary numerical array simulations and energy balance wave propagation models, and more robust models are in progress. These experiments will validate our numerical models and provide open-source experimental array data, which is sparse. A large wave basin is required, specifically for quantifying the reach of wave height reduction in the far-field. Oregon State’s Directional Wave Basin is perfectly suited for these experiments.

Water Bros Desalination, LLC
Wave-Actuated, Tethered, Emergency Response Buoyant Reverse Osmosis System

Facility: Oregon State University O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory Directional Wave Basin
 
Water insecurity impacts the lives of more than a quarter of the population around the globe. While large-scale infrastructure projects aid large population zones, remote islanded and coastal communities are often in the greatest need and lack the resources to pursue such advancements. The Wave-Actuated, Tethered, Emergency Response Buoyant Reverse Osmosis System (WATER BROS) Desalination Buoy offers a low cost, easy to deploy solution for coastal community water security without the need for polluting, expensive, and on-demand fossil fuel resources. Water Bros Desal, LLC is collaborating with the Department of Energy, Universities across North Carolina, the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, and Testing & Expertise for Marine Energy (TEAMER) to scale up and advance the technology to meet the global need.

CalWave Power Technologies Inc.
xWave Scaled PacWave Operations Final Wave Tank Testing

Facility: University of Maine – Advanced Structures & Composites Center – Alfond W2 Ocean Engineering Lab
 
Under RFTS 12, CalWave will conduct a 10-day wave tank testing campaign at the W2 basin at UMaine. A 1:20 scale device model will be used closely resembling CalWave’s final design for the xWave system to be deployed at PacWave South. A rich dataset will be generated which will be used to validate load and performance estimates and serve as a final tank testing comparison set to compare operations at PacWave against.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Open-source Dataset of Added-mass Coefficient for Validating Hydrokinetic Turbine Model Using Wave-basin Testing

Facility: University of Massachusetts Amherst – ORRE Wave-Current Flume
 
Marine energy resources such as river, tidal, and ocean currents can provide abundant, predictable, and clean power to both densely populated and remote communities globally. However, there is currently no opensource tool for modeling MHK turbines. Recently, the NREL’s OpenFAST has been adding new features (e.g., added-mass effect, buoyancy, wavecurrent coupling, inertia effect, etc.) to support the simulation of axial-flow marine turbines. However, these specific features have not been validated against experiment data. This proposal aims to generate an open-source dataset related to added-mass effect of marine turbines using wave-basin data. A series of forced oscillation experiments for selected airfoil sections with respect to different Keulegan-Carpenter (KC) numbers will be conducted. The experiment data will be publicly available for wider R&D communities after project completion.