TEAMER Network Director Announces RFTS 7 Technical Support Recipients

On August 30, 2022 the U.S. Testing Expertise and Access to Marine Energy Research (TEAMER) program selected seven projects through its seventh Request for Technical Support (RFTS), reflecting a total funding amount of approximately $766,307. 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 8 are currently being accepted through November 4, 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:

Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington – Support for environmental monitoring and data analysis around a field-deployed tidal energy converter in Sequim Bay, WA

Facility: MarineSitu

MarineSitu’s support for the Lander Adaptable Monitoring Package (LAMP) will facilitate real-time environmental observations using a complex suite of sensors around a small-scale tidal turbine deployed by Applied Physics Laboratory (University of Washington) researchers in Sequim Bay, WA. The LAMP will use its sensor suite, including imaging sonars and cameras, to detect and track targets (debris, fish, other animals) in the vicinity of the device. MarineSitu’s work will fill a critical gap by optimizing the system for data quality, by developing/implementing Machine Learning-based detectors for data analysis, and by managing large data volumes. The data streams resulting from this work will enable researchers to study temporal patterns in the presence/absence of animals around the device and investigate animal interactions with the turbine.

Emrgy, Inc. – Vertical Axis Hydrokinetic Turbine Array Modeling & Optimization

Facility: Sandia National Laboratories

Emrgy Inc. in collaboration with Sandia National Laboratories will integrate models of their modular vertical axis hydrokinetic (HK) turbines into a higher fidelity canal hydraulic model.  To date with over 30 deployments, a variety of turbine numerical modeling and CFD techniques, and TEAMER funded laboratory testing, Emrgy’s turbines have been hydrodynamically designed to optimize performance and deliver up to 45 kW of clean electric power.

Engineering Technologies, LLC – Numerical Simulation of the Platypus Prowler WEC

Facility: Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center

This project will use WEC-Sim to numerically simulate and optimize a wave energy converter (WEC), which has been designed within the hull of the Platypus Prowler autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). The Platypus Prowler was developed by Engineering Technologies, LLC as part of the DOE/NOAA sponsored Ocean Observing Contest. This project will 1) numerically model the Platypus Prowler WEC, 2) simulate its performance over a range of sea states, 3) vary WEC parameters to maximize produced power, and 4) quantify the performance of the final design.

Ocean Energy USA, LLC – OE35 Numerical Model for WEC Optimisation

Facility: Sandia National Laboratories & National Technology and Engineering Solutions (NTESS)

Ocean Energy will set up and run high fidelity computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models of the OE-35 Oscillating Water Column Wave Energy Converter using open-source software. These models will be run using typical wave climate data from relevant deployment sites in the US to provide simulations of the internal water flows inside the OWC as well as air flows through the power take-off turbine. The models will be validated using existing tank test data from OE. The purpose of the access is to provide a transportable CFD model of the OE-35 WEC to allow future optimization of the device prior to deployment at relevant sites.

Oregon State University – Open-Source Laboratory Upgrade Point Absorber (LUPA) WEC Flume Testing

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

This TEAMER project, with support from Sandia National Laboratory researchers, assists in the development and dissemination of the next generation of experimental WEC system identification methodologies, hydrodynamic validation processes, and the associated uncertainty of many marine energy metrics. The open-source Lab Upgrade Point Absorber (LUPA) device will accelerate the development of fundamental marine energy knowledge, support applied research for a variety of markets, and serve as a baseline educational resource. The LUPA will be a well characterized wave energy conversion platform for experimental validation of hydrodynamic models, control systems, PTO designs, and hull and heave plate geometries.

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth – Economic modeling and analysis of MADWEC wave energy converter

Facility: National Renewable Energy Laboratory

This project provides 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, and a patented tethered ballast system. The proposed economic analyses will help to focus development and design strategies as well as marketing and commercialization opportunities.

Waveberg Development – Tank testing of Waveberg wave energy converter

Facility: Stevens Institute – Davidson Laboratory

The Waveberg is a near-shore wave attenuator; the device uses the motion from the waves to pump seawater to shore under high pressure. On shore, the energy captured is used to power a hydro-electric turbine to make electricity or a reverse-osmosis desalinization plant to generate fresh water. This project will test a new WEC model at 1:25 scale (TRL 3) to characterize power output rigorously in a model that is properly scaled for weight. Tank testing across the wave spectrum will be followed by further testing of several potential improvements on the same model.