TEAMER Announces Second Request for Technical Support Selections

The U.S. Testing Expertise and Access to Marine Energy Research (TEAMER) program has selected 23 projects through its second Request for Technical Support (RFTS) for testing expertise and access to numerical modeling, lab testing, and tank/flume testing within an expanded facility network.

Applicants will now work with the facilities to submit their completed Test Plans prior to commencement of their assistance activies. Applications for TEAMER’s third RFTS are expected to open in April 2021. Supported by the DOE and directed by the Pacific Ocean Energy Trust (POET), 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 for support:

3newable LLC – Initial testing of wave energy powered UV-C LED antibiofouling system, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Marine and Coastal Research Laboratory – Biofouling/Biocorrosion Mesocosms

3newable is developing a system that uses wave energy conversion to power hard ultraviolet (UV-C) light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in order to prevent biofouling of marine sensors. Preventing biofouling potentially allows sensors to operate for longer periods of time before servicing is required, thereby extending the time between (very expensive) ship service visits to ocean buoy installations. UV-C biofouling protection also avoids the environmental damage caused by highly-toxic chemical antibiofoulants. During this TEAMER project, UV-C operating conditions will be tested with a continuous flow of seawater from an open field source, seawater conditions that represent offshore buoy installations far better than standard laboratory conditions do.

AquaHarmonics – PTO control update for revised 1:7 scale hull design, Sandia National Laboratories & National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

This support will allow AquaHarmonics Inc. to revise and validate their control model to be used in their open water deployment demonstration project in FOA1663.

AquaHarmonics – High Fidelity WEC-Sim PTO & Control Model Validation, Oregon State University, OH Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory

This support will allow AquaHarmonics Inc. to revise and validate their full wave to wire model, allowing for reduced uncertainty and increased understanding of design requirements of a Utility Scale device.

Aquantis – Novel Tidal Turbine Material Testing, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Alternatives to present, state-of-the-art, fiber reinforced polymer materials are being explored to determine fundamental composite material behavior under ASTM standard test conditions. Testing of composite coupons will validate material properties for the design of tidal turbine components.

Aquantis – Tidal Tug Hydrodynamic Model Development, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

TEAMER support is being utilized to produce a hydrodynamic model of the rotor system on Aquantis’ Tidal Power Tug in OpenFAST. This model will be added to and enhanced at a later stage to represent the entire floating tidal turbine.

CIMRS/Oregon State University – Drifting Hydrophone, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

The Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources Studies (CIMRS) at Oregon State University is requesting TEAMER support for the hardware and software development and integration of four newly designed drifting hydrophone systems for underwater noise measurements at MRE projects. These new drifting hydrophones will provide relatively low cost, state of the art acoustic monitoring capabilities aligned with recently released IEC 62600 -40 Technical Specification Acoustic Characterization of Marine Energy Converters. TEAMER facility support will provide expertise for hardware integration, and bench testing of the OSU drifting hydrophone systems supporting advancements in communications and sensor performance. These new acoustic systems will provide advanced technology support available for use at both tidal and wave energy deployments adding additional resources to the limited amount of drifting hydrophone technologies that are available to the marine energy community.

Creek Tides Energy & Power – Reactive reversible Blade Turbine for Power Generation, Florida Atlantic University

Creek Tides Energy and Power is requesting TEAMER support to test the power output capability of their patented Reactive, Reversible Blade Turbine. Testing will be performed at Florida Atlantic University’s SeaTech wave flume. Results from the flume test will be used as future inputs for hydrodynamic modeling, to support critical design changes to improve efficiency.

Downeast Turbines – Tidal Turbine Test, Alden Research Lab

Downeast Turbines of Whitneyville, Maine will bring a tidal turbine prototype to Alden Research Lab, the oldest continuously operating hydraulic laboratory in the United States, and one of the oldest in the world, for testing. The prototype will be tested in Alden Lab’s big flume, capable of producing a vigorous flow of water, to see how well it works! The turbine’s rotor/channel system captures tidal current flow and feeds it into small, enclosed, fast turning rotors, to generate useful power. The discharge apparatus harnesses the action of the stream to energize flow of water through the rotors. Rotor/channel system and discharge apparatus both have US patents. Downeast Turbines seeks to commercialize its technology in the worldwide industry of large-scale tidal power for mini and micro sized hydro plants. There are implications for the industry at large. Economic benefits include reducing upfront costs of design and manufacture and improving power performance for higher lifetime revenues. Other benefits include that the rotor, being fully enclosed, poses little hazard to marine mammals or fish in nearby ocean waters, nor to nearby vessels, their lines and cables, underwater divers, or other ocean users. Downeast Turbines’ products are safe to be around. Computer simulations have shown that the discharge apparatus reduces turbulence in a turbine’s downstream wake. If that effect should prove repeatable in real application, it will mean that turbines can be mounted very closely together in cost-effective, tidal turbine farms.

East Carolina University – WEC-SIM Support for an Innovative Zero Discharge Supercritical Water Based Wave Energy Desalination System, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The main goal is to design and develop a sustainable wave-to-water (direct pressurization) desalination unit powered by a wave energy converter (WEC) that is (1) operated through a machine learning (ML)- based smart control system and (2) coupled with innovative zero waste discharge and energy recovery units. The project will develop a novel wave-to-water zero discharge desalination system that uses deep machine learning for multi-process performance optimization, supercritical CO2 energy recovery, and electricity generation system. The key technical objectives corresponding to the critical success factors are: (1) maximize wave-based energy available for use in seawater desalination; (2) scalability and testability of supercritical water desalination with zero discharge; (3) increase system efficiency using recovery waste heat in a CO2 power cycle; (4) implement machine learning process control and performance optimization for multistage technology; and (5) demonstrate technical, commercial, and
environmental viability for commercialization. The successful development of this project depends on multiple innovations related to wave energy (4) conversion, desalination using reverse osmosis coupled with supercritical water technology to eliminate brine waste powered by wave energy, process control using machine learning to maximize efficiency and system performance, and a supercritical carbon dioxide power cycle for heat exchange.

Ecosse IP – Mass of Water Turbine MOWT Paddle Optimisation, Sandia National Laboratories

Ecosse IP (EIP), an innovative Scottish technology development company, has created a high torque hydrokinetic turbine which can generate predictable power from slow moving water. Known as a Mass of Water Turbine or MOWT, it can be deployed in rivers, coastal waters or subsea for power generation. In addition, it can be used for
• water desalination or purification in island/remote communities
• flood prevention – powering pumps to divert/disperse flood waters
• pumping water for cost-effective irrigation in the developing world
• firefighting for hoses and sprinkler systems to fight/combat forest fires. MOWT will have significant benefits to provide renewable power for communities and corporations situated on rivers, coasts and islands throughout the USA and globally. By optimising the device using the significant expertise of a national laboratory, EIP believe that the resulting step change in the design capabilities will lead to greater efficiency of power output in slow moving water. This will lead to cheaper and more effective devices being deployed more rapidly. MOWT is currently at TRL 4/5. Scaled testing has been carried out to quantify mechanical power production. CFD modelling will aid the overall optimisation of the device. On completion of a phase 2 demonstration, it is anticipated that MOWT will be at TRL 7–8, showing that the MOWT system is almost ready for commercial deployment.

E-Wave Technology – A Small-Scale Wave Energy Converter to Power Ocean Aquaculture, Stevens Institute of Technology

Much of aquaculture has been done onshore in tanks or lakes but in the past couple decades aquaculture in the open ocean has taken off. While the ocean might be a harsh environment on equipment it provides almost limitless space for aquaculture farms to raise much healthier fish. Offshore aquaculture farms have sprouted up all over the world because of this but they still have major challenges. The main challenge is that they do not have access to centralized electrical grids and are also generally quite remote leading to high operation and maintenance cost diesel generators used on their farms. They need power for a whole host of operational activities such as feeding, monitoring, lighting, and heating and cooling for crew members who live on barges that are located at the farm site. Offshore aquaculture farms aren’t as well suited as most traditional power sources, but they are surrounded by tons of ocean wave energy. To solve this, E-Wave Technologies is currently building an ocean wave energy converter (WEC) for offshore aquaculture. The WEC is designed to be integrated into the existing feed buoy of the aquaculture system. E-Wave has partnered with Virginia Tech and Innovasea to make this project become a reality. Virginia Tech is assisting with the technical design of the WEC. Innovasea is an aquaculture systems provider, one farm that they provide is owned by Open Blue, where the first WEC is being designed to survive and provide the 35 kW that they need for operations.

Hanna Wave Energy Primary Drives Self-rectifying, Mono-Radial Impulse Turbine, Alden Research Lab

Wave energy conversion has the potential to exceed global electrical requirements. But, capital expenditures per KWh are greater than conventional power generation costs. A harsh operating environment, energy transmission costs and storage issues are some of the challenges facing the wave energy sector. Another major challenge facing WEC developers is the PTO. A simple, cost-efficient turbine PTO is the focus of this TEAMER request for technical assistance. Its appearance resembles the Pelton Turbine which harnesses one-way water flows inside hydroelectric power plants. The closed loop mono-radial turbine is being considered for the present numerical modelling study. Both the closed loop and open-ended turbine system harnesses the two-way motion of ocean waves. The closed loop turbine operates on confined pressure differentials flowing back and forth through the mono-radial turbine. The closed-loop air flows are equal with reduced damping effects. The open-ended system is a typical OWC air-driven turbine where the air flows are unequal. In order to achieve more balanced air flows in both directions, the new self-rectifying closed loop turbine PTO has been described by the inventor, John Clark Hanna of Coos Bay, Oregon. The project proposes to have Alden Research Laboratory in Holden, MA to perform numerical and CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) evaluations for a 12-inch diameter closed loop turbine. Project deliverables will provide quantitative data that will indicate if the turbine’s simulated performance metrics will justify physical assessment of a working 3D-printed demonstrator.

Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, Nalu e Wai Wave Powered Desalination, University of Maine

Team Nalu e Wai, a University of Hawaii-led team, with partners from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (Chennai, India) and Uppsala University(Sweden), will conduct tank testing of its small-scale wave-powered desalination system at the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center. The depth of water in this state-of-the-art wave basin provides a unique opportunity to test this system in an environment that closely mimics its intended deployment conditions – not only in the final stage of the competition, but in the anticipated real-world conditions that would be encountered in a remote or disaster-stricken area for which the system is designed.

The Nalu e Wai system is a flap-type wave energy converter that takes advantage of the surge motion of the waves in the nearshore environment to drive a hydraulic cylinder and pressurize water through a reverse osmosis (RO) system. Extensive modeling and design have matured the concept to the point where wave basin testing will provide a critical step forward to validate numerical models, as well as gain confidence in our intended deployment strategies and control mechanisms, all aimed at advancing the system’s TRL.

HiSeas Energy, Inc – OSC-WEC with Deep Water Reactance, Sandia National Laboratories & Texas A&M Offshore Technology Research Center

HiSeas Energy is developing a new kind of Wave Energy Converter (WEC) to supply the world with low cost renewable energy from the oceans. This 16m diameter device is rated to 1 MW and may be assembled into linear arrays of hundreds of devices, producing gigawatts of low cost power at high capacity factor for transmission to shore or for power-to-fuels processors at sea. These open ocean arrays may be moored to the seabed or kept in position and oriented by dynamic positioning via active thrusters. The HiSeas WEC is a unique variation on the conventional Spar Buoy Oscillating Water Column (OWC) WEC. The HiSeas WEC uses a large volume of entrained sea water in a large spherical “stabilizer” at the bottom of a 94 meter long steel rod, which connects the stabilizer to a capped, hollow cylinder which forms the OWC. The stabilizer provides the reaction mass needed to extract energy from wave motion, yet allows the cylinder to freely “surge”, or move laterally, with the waves, without side loads on the cylinder or bending moments in the rod. Simulations and structural analysis indicate that each device of this type may generate up to 1 MW of power from a top-mounted bi-directional turbine, such as the Siemens HydroAir Turbine, with a low mass per unit of power of less than 80 tons per MW. This TEAMER funded project will test a working model in Texas A&M’s OTRC Wave Basin, as well as simulations from Sandia National Laboratories.

Ocean Motion Technologies – Optimization & Simulations for an Adaptive Wave Energy Converter, National Renewable Energy Laboratory & Sandia National Laboratories

Ocean Motion’s technology is an improvement on point absorber and attenuator systems, which are well-known wave energy conversion mechanisms in the industry. Ocean Motion Technologies (OMT) has been awarded a Phase I SBIR award to develop and test a prototype of our Adaptive Point Attenuator. The TEAMER objectives are to supplement the internal efforts within OMT to create WEC-SIM predictive performance simulations of the Adaptive Point Attenuator. Additionally, these TEAMER efforts will continue the work in progress from TEAMER RFTS1. This improved 3D time series modeling of the energy conversion system will be a key input to the small-scale prototype. It will be tested and make an iterative system of simulation and testing that can lead to variations beyond what is planned for the DOE SBIR project.

Oscilla Power – Physical Model Validation of a GA Optimized Hull Geometry, Oregon State University, OH Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory

The proposed test program will validate a new hull geometry for the Triton wave energy converter. The new geometry has been developed using a novel genetic algorithm optimization technique that has been developed in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh. Significant power performance improvements have been seen in numerical simulations and 1:50 scale experimental tests will be used to validate these power improvements.

Pyro-E – Numerical Design Study of EEL Marine Energy System, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Pyro-E’s award-winning technology addresses the most expensive energy market in the world – batteries. Electricity harvested from water pressure is 100-fold cheaper than chemical storage while overcoming weight, size, reliability, degradation, and disposal limitations. Pyro-E supports the water industry to improve effciency, reduce cost, and adopt data-led transformation. EEL is an untethered, submersible glider that provides persistent power at sea for unprecedented range, coverage, and resolution mapping of the ocean.

Resolute Marine Energy – TechnoEconomic Optimization of RME SurgeWEC Device, ReVision Consulting

RME’s Wave2OTM technology is a wave powered desalination plant. The onshore reverse osmosis plant is driven by an array of offshore Wave Energy Converters (WECs). The WEC is categorized as an Oscillating Wave Surge Converter (OWSC) incorporating a PTO which employs a fixed displacement seawater high-pressure pump. The WEC system’s prime mover is a bottom hinged flap which oscillates in response to incident wave excitation. Conversion of energy from oscillation of the prime mover subsystem to hydraulic energy in the PTO subsystem represents the primary energy conversion step. RME’s Wave2OTM WEC system OWSC device (SurgeWEC) employs a hinged flap as a prime mover. Buoyancy is usually employed to provide a restoring moment such that the prime mover returns to the vertical equilibrium position upon perturbation. Given excitation from incident waves, the prime mover will respond by oscillating about its axis of rotation. Energy may be extracted from the incident waves by applying a damping moment to the oscillating prime mover. This is achieved by the Power Take-Off (PTO) system. Given the slow speed and large forces typically involved, hydraulic PTO systems are commonly employed in practise. The oscillating prime mover may be referenced against either a floating or fixed platform. The work in this project will develop additional tools useful in the driving a techno economically optimized design for the next generation of RME’s WEC system.

Sea Potential LLC – DUO wave powered desalination system, University of Maine

Sea Potential team has developed a wave powered desalination system using the DUO wave energy converter technology , a proven, high power-capture wave energy convertor (WEC) that was a finalist in the Wave Energy Prize competition. Rather than generate electricity, the DUO Desalination System (DUO-DS) uses the energy captured from the waves to pressurise and pump large volumes of sea water via a reverse osmosis membrane to produce clean, drinkable water. Detailed design and numerical modeling of the system has been completed as part of the Waves to Water competition, in preparation for the construction and testing of the DUO-DS at the Jennette’s Pier test site in North Carolina.

Verdant Power – MRE Dynamic Seals Performance Investigation, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

This TEAMER project allows NREL to use and augment a custom special-purpose testing system to perform accelerated-life testing of rotating seals used in the MRE industry. The requirements of this industry are different from most marine applications, and relevant performance information is lacking. In order to achieve low costs with extremely effective and reliable operation over long periods deployed underwater, more study of the best seals and arrangements of seals must be performed. By developing a rigorous framework for such testing, National Renewable Energy Laboratorycan greatly improve our understanding of the relevant factors, and provide significant data to the industry. Further, this work can inform standards developments for this critical component of MRE systems, leading to maturation and improved acceptance of the industry in commerce.

Virginia Tech – Mooring Modelling and Analysis for Floating Oscillating
Surge Wave Energy Converter, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Floating Oscillating Surge Wave Energy Converter (FOSWEC) offer advantages over bottom-hinged oscillating surge wave energy converters, including large wave potential at deep-water sites and less permitting and environmental concern outside the territorial waters. Stevens Institute of Technology, Virginia Tech and Resolute Marine Energy have been teaming to design a 100KW F-OWSC under DOE support (2020-2021) for the PacWave site. The proposed FOSWEC consists of a floating platform, two pivoting flaps, and an innovative PTO. The distance between the two flaps is around half of the wavelength in order to achieve out-of-phase motion and reduce the motion of the frame as well as mooring load. The goal is to design, build, deploy and analyze a 1:2 scale (100-kW annual averaged electrical power output) device with reduced levelized cost of energy (LCOE) and peak-to-average power ratio, through the co-design and control of PTO, WEC, and floating platform. The F-OWSC is an improvement and extension of Reference Model 5 (RM5).

Water Bros Desalination LLC. – WATER BROS Desalination, University of New Hampshire

The Wave-Actuated, Tethered Emergency Response Buoyant Reverse Osmosis System (WATER BROS) Desalination System is the next generation of emergency response, wave energy harnessing, and water delivery systems for remote coastal and islanded regions for a sustainable, environmentally conscious, and affordable future. The Water Bros Mission is to develop fossil-fuel-free, long-lasting, and flexible water treatment technologies for a better world. With rising sea levels, diminishing groundwater, and a growing population, water security is of growing concern around the world, particularly in remote coastal and islanded regions. These coastal and islanded locations are highly subject to natural disasters, high fuel costs, and limited resources. The Wave-Actuated, Tethered Emergency Response Buoyant Reverse Osmosis System aims to address these challenges through ocean wave energy conversion and direct pressure-fed seawater desalination. The ever-growing need for renewable energy, clean water, and rapid emergency response gives rise to new approaches to these processes. However, converting nature’s resources to usable energy that meets 21st-century demands in increasingly harsh environments remains a significant challenge. The WATER BROS Desalination team targets renewable ocean energy to generate potable fresh water for drinking, irrigation, and medical procedures from the 1.338 billion km3 of saltwater in the Earth’s Oceans. The platform is uniquely designed to economically convert the surge of near-shore ocean wave energy to universally usable rotational energy while drawing on this vast supply of ocean saltwater and withstanding the harsh ocean environment.

Wells Engineering – ROOWaC, Florida Atlantic University

The ROOWaC (Reverse Osmosis powered by an Oscillating Water Column) is a wave energy device that is used to feed seawater to a desalination unit. The system consists of an offshore oscillating water column (OWC). An OWC consists of two main parts: a container that captures energy from the oscillating motion of the waves, and a power take off (PTO) system that converts kinetic energy of the water in the container into mechanical rotational energy. While a typical OWC uses an air turbine, the ROOWaC uses a very low head hydropower turbine for the PTO. The ROOWaC system uses rubber flaps that act as check valves to let water into the reservoir. At maximum water surface, the check valves close, and the reservoir water surface drops at a slower rate than the surrounding wave surface, causing a pressure differential across the turbine and causing the turbine to spin. The turbine is couple to a pump to feed seawater to a desalination unit. The ROOWaC uses an innovative “elastic taut-mooring” anchoring method to provide excellent stability in a very compact system. Tilting of the device to one side causes an increase in the bungee cord tension on the opposite side, producing a righting moment similar to that of a spar buoy, but in a more lightweight and compact system.