TEAMER Network Director Announces RFTS 6 Technical Support Recipients

On May 25, 2022 the U.S. Testing Expertise and Access to Marine Energy Research (TEAMER) program selected ten projects through its sixth Request for Technical Support (RFTS), reflecting a total funding amount of approximately $1,021,050. These projects will receive support for testing expertise and access to numerical modeling, laboratory or bench testing, and tank/flume testing and expertise within the growing TEAMER Facility Network. Selected applicants, along with the supporting Facility, will now submit their completed Test Plans, a requirement before assistance activities can commence. Applications for RFTS 7 are currently being accepted through July 16, 2022.

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:

E-Wave Technologies LLC – Biofouling and Corrosion Study for a Novel Linear Guided Wave Energy Converter

Facility: Sandia National Laboratories and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

E-Wave Technologies is collaborating with Sandia National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to examine biofouling and corrosion effects on E-Wave’s novel inclined and linear guided wave energy converter. This work will identify coating solutions which will prevent biofouling growth and saltwater corrosion on both static and dynamic components that are submerged and in the splash zone, determine adhesion of the coatings to system components, long-term performance of coated joints with sliding contacts, experiments to examine growth and corrosion rates, and analyze the effectiveness of various cleaning methods to insure long term performance of the system. The work will have a material impact on the marine renewable energy industry in that it will provide foundational scientific work which can be used by other industry members interested in employing linear guided connections in their systems.

E-Wave Technologies LLC – Wave Tank Testing for Power Capture Optimization and Slamming Wave Force Estimation of a Paddle-type Wave Energy Converter Retrofitted into a Floating Aquaculture Infrastructure

Facility: Stevens Institute of Technology

In this project, E-Wave Technologies is collaborating with Stevens Institute of Technology to test an improved 1:8 scale WEC prototype at the Davidson Laboratory wave tank testing facility. Through the tests, the improved WEC PTO system will be evaluated for its power conversion efficiency. The innovative multi-bodies hydrodynamic design of the paddle-type WEC retrofitted into floating aquaculture infrastructure will be investigated and its power capture performance will be optimized. The AQWA numerical model developed to predict the WEC hydrodynamic response and mooring force will be calibrated. The wave slamming force on the WEC will be obtained and used for WEC structure design, PTO design, and CFD model validation.

IProTech – Numerical Modeling to Optimize Performance of the PIP WEC Device

Facility: WEC-SIM

NREL will utilize numerical modeling and optimization techniques to determine optimum design parameters for IProTech’s PIP (Pitching Inertial Pump) wave energy capture technology. The PIP technology uses a unique hydraulic inertial power takeoff that promises high reliability and survivability stemming from its simplicity and lack of moving parts. This work will enable IProTech to design, build and test a prototype device.

Lancaster University, UK – Numerical modeling of TALOS wave energy converter

Facility: WEC-SIM

The multi-axis TALOS wave energy converter of the NHP-WEC project is one that aims to contribute to the development of a device that has already shown a potential. The technical assistance with the WEC-SIM facility target to remove some technological barriers in advancing the modelling technologies for TALOS wave energy converter, so to rapidly bring the technology to higher TRLs.

Ocean Motion Technologies, Inc. (OMT) – Gap Analysis and Optimization of the Seasonal Adaptive Point Attenuator based on Wave Tank Experiments

Facility: WEC-SIM

Through the support from the TEAMER RFTS 1 and RFTS 2, OMT has set up our WEC-SIM models and produced preliminary results on power output. The current application aims to request for technical support following a wave tank test in order to bridge the gap between simulation and small-scale experimentations. These efforts will aid our ongoing DOE SBIR Phase II Project which will result in a field deployment with our pilot customers. This proposal is requesting support in the following areas: coordination with wave tank tests for key data collection, and analysis of experimental data to support model and simulation updates.

Portland State University – Wave Flume Testing of a Variable Stiffness Magnetic Spring Wave Energy Converter

Facility: Oregon State University, O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory

This RFTS aims to use wave tank testing to demonstrate the performance benefits of using a newly invented adjustable magnetic spring for enabling resonant operation of a wave energy converter over a wide band-width. The adjustable magnetic spring will be integrated with the power take off system of a scaled down wave energy converter being developed by AquaHarmonics. The wave energy converter performance when using the variable stiffness magnetic spring will be characterized and compared with prior wave tank testing analysis that used more conventional spring designs. The use of a variable stiffness magnetic spring enables the negative stiffness to be adjusted thereby enabling a small wave energy converter to maximize the power generation through resonant tuning to the wave frequency.

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth – Numerical simulation and analysis of MADWEC wave energy converter

Facility: WEC-SIM

This RFTS will provide technical assistance to the development of a wave energy converter (WEC) device developed at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. The device is called MADWEC, which stands for maximal asymmetric drag wave energy converter. It is a point absorber device designed to be low-cost, low-maintenance, and easily deployable. Guided by cost-saving initiatives, MADWEC uses several “off-the-shelf” parts, including a regular garage door spring, commercially available one-way clutch and electric generators, etc. Through computational simulations, this project will help optimize the tethered ballast system, investigate the performance of MADWEC under linear waves, and estimate its power output.

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley – A Vertical Axis Wave Turbine

Facility: American Bureau of Shipping

A wave turbine concept has been proposed in this research. When deployed in waves, the wave induced omnidirectional waterflow drives the turbine rotor into a unidirectional rotation about its vertical axis, which will in turn drive a direct electric generator to produce electricity. The unidirectional rotation of the rotor enables the turbine to respond well in a wide range of wave frequencies with no needs for frequency tuning. The vertical alignment of the rotor makes the turbine tolerant to the wave propagation direction. The proof of concept of this wave turbine has been demonstrated through a preliminary wave flume testing. The requested TEAMER funding will support numerical modeling and analysis, which are expected to yield an optimized hydrodynamic design of the turbine rotor. The results will be used to guide a scaled prototype development for a comprehensive future testing.

Virginia Tech – Assessing structure integrity of a self-reactive point absorber subjected to extreme sea conditions

Facility: American Bureau of Shipping

Virginia Tech developed a self-reactive, point absorber type wave energy converter (WEC) which contains a floating buoy and a second submerged reactive body. The point absorber WEC is featured with a novel Power Take-off (PTO) using an R&D100 award-winning Mechanical Motion Rectifying (MMR) mechanism that converts the irregular bi-directional oscillating wave motions into unidirectional rotations to drive an electromagnetic generator. The concept of the design has been verified through both numerical simulation and scaled prototype tank testing. The results show that the two-body self-reactive design can achieve power absorption two times higher than the traditional single-body designs.
In this project, ABS will conduct hydrodynamic, CFD, and FEA modeling on the point absorber to evaluate the WEC’s structural integrity in its design sea conditions at the PACWave south site. The key structural components that are subjected to extreme loads will be identified. The global and local structural strengths will be checked. This will result in further structural design improvements and enhance the safety of the WEC system for a successful deployment.

Vortex Hydro Power, LLC – Testing an Integrated Current-Wave Hydrokinetic Energy Harvester

Facility: Marine Hydrodynamics Laboratory, University of Michigan

Vortex Hydro Power (VHP) will test a unique device, VIVACE-W, in the Towing Tank of the Marine Hydrodynamics Laboratory of the University of Michigan. VIVACE-W, is not a turbine, it uses cylinders to mimic fish-school dynamics without the complexity of fish-school kinematics.
•VIVACE-W can harness energy both from currents and waves using the same mechanical and electrical components; a most powerful tool to power applications of the Blue Economy in the middle of the ocean.
•VIVACE-W, can initiate MHK energy harnessing in very slow flows: 0.19m/s(0.4knots). The vast majority of currents are slower than 3knots and rivers are typically slower than 2 knots.
•It implements adaptive damping mimicking fish undulation modes for maximum energy harnessing.
•VIVACE-W can go where turbines cannot be used due to space constraints, location, or where they may cause disruption to water use or sensitive marine mammals, or fish migrations. It provides a scalable hydrokinetic energy option beneficial to communities and the environment.