TEAMER Network Director Announces RFTS 3 Technical Support Recipients

TEAMER Announces Third RFTS Selections

On July 9, 2021 the U.S. Testing Expertise and Access to Marine Energy Research (TEAMER) program selected 14 projects through its third Request for Technical Support (RFTS) for testing expertise and access to numerical modeling, lab testing, and tank/flume testing and expertise within the growing facility network. Chosen applicants, along with the supported Facility, will now submit their completed Test Plans, a requirement before assistance activities can commence.

TEAMER will announce the next call for applications in August. Supported by the DOE 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 for support:

BlueTec Energy, LLC, Torpedo Wave Powered Generator, Facility: Oregon State University – O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory

BlueTec will work with Oregon State University to extract data from BlueTec’s testing program to precisely match the Torpedo Wave Power Generator to the unique wave power profile of a specific nearshore location. Each location has specific characteristics that define how deep ocean energy is concentrated and released in the final 500 meters before the wave crashes onto the beach.

CalWave Power Technologies Inc., xWave New Technology Qualification and Path to Certification, Facility: American Bureau of Shipping

Under RFTS 3, the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) will provide expert, independent review of CalWave’s technology development and advancement of the xWave system. This review includes engineering design documentation, numerical modelling, 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 New Technology Qualification (NQT) process. Providing certification for marine energy systems is critical for unlocking project financing and insurability for commercial deployments.

CalWave, xWave – Real Time IMU Optimization for Advanced Controls, Facility: Evergreen Innovations

Under RFTS 3, CalWave and Evergreen Innovations will optimize the real time implementation of IMU data such into CalWave’s advanced control algorithm. While controller, state estimator, advanced filtering methods, and advanced controller performance have been validated in previous tank testing campaigns and bench setups, the RFTS project aims to ensure optimal implementation into CalWave’s SCADA system for CalWave’s open ocean demonstration.

E-Wave Technologies LLC, Ocean Survivability Analysis of a Wave Energy Converter that Powers Marine Aquaculture, Facility: American Bureau of Shipping

E-Wave Technologies is currently building an ocean wave energy converter (WEC) for offshore aquaculture. The WEC is designed to be retrofitted into existing feed buoys of an aquaculture system. E-Wave has partnered with Virginia Tech, Innovasea, and the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) to make this project become a reality. Virginia Tech and ABS are assisting with the technical design of the WEC. Innovasea is an aquaculture systems provider. They provide the systems owned by Open Blue, where the first WEC is being designed to provide the 35 kW needed for survivable operations. Under the RFTS 3 support , E-Wave will work with American Bureau of Shipping to perform a comprehensive evaluation of the WEC’s strength under critical design (extreme) conditions using CFD and FEA.

Hydrokinetic Energy Corporation, Facility: American Bureau of Shipping

Hydrokinetic Energy Corp. (HEC), a U.S. corporation founded in 2014, is a full-spectrum design, research and testing facility, with an aim on design, development, testing and optimizing a new type of hydrokinetic turbine that lends itself to usage in any kind of flowing water, namely ocean currents, tidal currents or the run of river currents. These turbines are ideally suited for low flow velocities sites due to HEC’s proprietary flow acceleration technology.
Under RFTS 3, Hydrokinetric Energy Corporation will work with American Bureau of Shipping to test different turbine configurations using high-fidelity Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), which will provide input into future design optimization for a single turbine.

IProTech, Wave Tank Testing W2W Device, Facility: University of Maine – Advanced Structures & Composites Center

IProTech’s innovative wave energy capture device will be tested at the University of Maine’s wave basin. The device is designed to provide pressurized water to a bespoke water desalination unit. Wave energy driven seawater desalination will initially be used for disaster relief and by isolated island communities.

M. J. Plackett & Associates (MJP&A), Rapidly Installed Breakwater & Wave Amplifier (RIB&WA), Facility: Oregon State University – O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory

The ‘Rapidly Installed Breakwater/Wave Amplifier’ (RIB/WA) is designed to focus ocean waves increasing their amplitude such that they enhance the power generation capabilities of a broad range of wave energy devices in low sea-state conditions offshore. Typically, wave energy devices do not perform efficiently in low wave environments. The RIB/WA focuses the predominant oncoming waves within the open ‘V’ formed by the two floating RIB/WA units, thereby enhancing the wave amplitude to excite an array of wave energy devices installed within the ‘V’. When there is no need for wave amplification the RIB/WA can easily be streamed from its apex mooring or recovered for storage ashore. The RIB/WA system is highly
maneuverable and can be deployed to an offshore mooring by conventional tugs or via a special purpose, remotely controlled vessel. The Wave Energy industry will benefit from both the wave amplification in calm conditions and the proven ability of the RIB to provide a temporary calm area in waves for the safe emplacement or maintenance of wave energy equipment.

MaREI, University College Cork, Uncertainty analysis and performance comparison in tank testing of a floating OWC, Facility: Ohmsett – The National Oil Spill Response Research & Renewable Energy Test Facility

Researchers from the Marine Renewable Energy Institute (MaREI) in UCC, Cork, Ireland are conducting a performance comparison of wave energy device tank testing at Ohmsett. This work is an important step in standardizing tank testing procedures between European and American facilities, which is particularly significant at a time when interest and investment in offshore renewables is increasing, as both the US and the EU are seeking to meet ambitious goals to reduce carbon emissions in the coming years. The device being used for the testing is a floating Oscillating Water Column (OWC) wave energy converter, developed by Ocean Energy (OE). A full-scale prototype of this device has previously been funded by the US Department of Energy to undergo ocean testing at the U.S. Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site in Oahu, Hawaii.

Orbital Marine Power, San Juan Islands Tidal Energy Characterization, Facility: University of Washington and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

The University of Washington and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will support Orbital Marine Power by analyzing tidal energy resource data for the San Juan Islands in Puget Sound, Washington. This will leverage a recent survey of the San Juan Islands by NOAA’s CO-OPS program that generated acoustic Doppler current profiler time series at more than 30 locations. UW will analyze these data through the lens of tidal energy generation, while PNNL will use these data to validate a high-resolution numerical model of tidal energy resources in the San Juan Islands. This simulation will go beyond the point measurements from the NOAA survey to characterize spatial gradients, as well as quantify turbulence and large-scale eddies that could present challenges for tidal energy development.

Oscilla Power, Wave Energy Power Smoothing Via Supercapacitors Design Comparison, Facility: Oregon State University – Wallace Energy System and Renewables Facility (WESRF)

The proposed numerical analysis will compare a directly coupled supercapacitor system with a system connected through a DC/DC converter. The peak to average power ratio, cost, and weight of the two systems will be compared to determine the optimal onboard supercapacitor smoothing for a wave energy converter. A reduced peak to average ratio is crucial for Wave Energy Converters to provide the most benefit to the grid.

Pterofin, Inc., The Skimmer, Facility: Pennsylvania State University – Applied Research Laboratory

Pterofin will partner with Pennsylvania State University – Applied Research Laboratory to test a scaled model to confirm the predicted mechanical and operational characteristics of the Pterofin Skimmer concept. Technical assistance is requested to confirm the skimmers predicted electrical and mechanical characteristics as well as the behavior of the fluid flow around the hydrofoil. Assistance from 3rd party facilities is necessary to conduct comprehensive, controlled testing of the small scale prototype before production of the full size A-Sample prototype.

Pyro-E, Flume Testing of Full-scale EEL Marine Energy System, Facility: Stevens Institute – Davidson Laboratory

The RFTS3 goal is to optimize the full-scale EEL via RFTS1 and RFTS2 results. The validated design will extend the performance envelop to include operations within wave, tidal, and riverine environments. The corresponding objectives are: Hydrodynamic feasibility, Energy harvesting, Parametric design, and Operational specification.

Triton Systems Inc., Biofouling Analysis for Wave Energy Piston Design, Facility: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory – Marine and Coastal Research Laboratory

Triton System’s Wave Energy Converter (WEC) uses an oscillating water column approach to provide small scale power to ocean observing and navigational buoys. Biofouling and corrosion are a major concern for all ocean-deployed components, especially when mechanical motion is involved. Triton is looking to leverage TEAMER funding to evaluate seals, materials, and component performance in a controlled biofouling test environment. Results from this testing will be used to improve seal design and material selection, mitigating risk of premature failure during open water testing and evaluation.

University of Wisconsin-Madison, Experimental validation of cross-flow turbine flow dynamics, Facility: University of Washington – Harris Hydraulics Lab: Alice C. Tyler Flume

This work will utilize the Alice T. Tyler flume at the University of Washington to take detailed performance and flow field measurements around a cross-flow turbine. A cross-flow turbine consists of blades that rotate in unison around a common shaft, in a rotational direction perpendicular to the incoming flow. These turbines have the potential to be deployed in coastal tidal flow and rivers that have high water velocities. The accurate measurements of the performance and the fluid dynamics around a turbine employing advanced control strategies will enable researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to improve computational fluid dynamics models that can predict the performance of these turbines under a new set of proposed operating conditions that have great potential to improve turbine output. Such models are imperative to the marine energy community as they develop new turbine technologies that enable sustainable and renewable energy solutions from tidal and river flows.