TEAMER Network Director Announces RFTS 8 Technical Support Recipients, More than $10 Million Provided in Support of 100 projects

The U.S. Testing Expertise and Access to Marine Energy Research (TEAMER) program has approved thirteen projects through its eighth Request for Technical Support (RFTS), reflecting a total of more than $1.3 million. These Technical Support Recipients (TSRs) 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 9 are currently being accepted through March 3, 2023.

With these approvals, the TEAMER Network Director has awarded more than $10 million of total support across 101 marine energy projects since the program launched in May of 2020. 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:

Crestwing – Techno-Economic Assessment of the Crestwing Device

Facility: Re Vision Consulting

The Crestwing Device is a wave energy converter (WEC) of the attenuator type consisting of two large rectangular barges that are hinged together laying perpendicular to the waves. Crestwing has designed and tested their device in both wave tanks as well as in-ocean environments at various scales. While the techno-economic performance of the device looks promising, some uncertainties remain in respect to techno-economic performance at larger scales. The intended outcome is to characterize LCoE of the Crestwing device at a range of different scales. Re Vision will support Crestwing with the development of a scalable techno-economic model that includes a digital twin and a techno-economic assessment. Re Vision Consulting has developed similar models for a wide range of entities.

Current Kinetics LLC – Numerical Simulation of the Current Kinetics moored Ocean Current Turbine

Facility: Florida Atlantic University – Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center

This project will use an FAU developed ocean current turbine numerical simulation tool to numerically simulate and optimize an ocean current turbine (OCT) design developed by Current Kinetics, LLC. This design was developed around patented permanent magnet direct-drive generator and flooded bearing technologies to create electrical power from the Gulf Stream current but could also be deployed in ocean currents such as Kuroshio off Japan and Taiwan or Agulhas off South Africa. Specifically, this project will 1) numerically model the CK OCT and mooring system, 2) simulate system performance over a range of current profiles and turbulence intensities and measured Gulf Stream flow conditions, 3) vary OCT parameters to maximize the system’s power to weight ratio, and 4) quantify the performance of the final design.

Florida Atlantic University – Numerical Investigation of a small low-flow MHK turbine for Small Autonomous Unmanned Mobile Recharge Stations

Facility: National Renewable Energy Laboratory

To support optimization and market transformation of the system, a 3-D numerical modeling and simulation study is needed. TEAMER support is requested for NREL to undertake the proposed numerical study. Rigorous analysis and evaluation will facilitate engaging industry and scholarly publications of the research. Validation of the device through numerical simulation will increase its TRL level and help assess the potential of not only a single device but also potential scaled-up multiple devices in an array.

Hydro Dynamic Power Systems – HDPS Marine Tidal Power

Facility: Sandia National Laboratories

HDPS Marine Tidal Power is developing a software tool to optimally pair an easy-to-install, easy-to-remove tidal power system with a seasonally inactive or otherwise retired vessel. This can provide not only clean, affordable power in coastal communities but can provide a source of income for during the off-season for seasonally active vessel owners. The software tool takes in information about the tidal currents and the utilized vessel to size tidal power system for grid connection or battery charging applications that will provide inexpensive electricity, particularly in the demanding winter months, while ensuring the safety of the utilized vessel. Our innovation is multi-functional and may serve a single vessel owner, or a whole coastal community.

Hydrokinetic Energy Corp. – Optimization of Hydrofoil Shaped Rotor Blades of Axial Flow Hydrokinetic Turbine

Facility: American Bureau of Shipping

The goal of this TEAMER project is to optimize the hydrofoil shapes of the rotor blades of the hydrokinetic turbine design of Hydrokinetic Energy Corp. (HEC) using Computational Fluid Dynamics and advanced optimization search algorithms. In a previous TEAMER RFTS, HEC optimized the accelerator shroud, diffuser and the center hub which surround the rotor section and the blades of this turbine design. After the completion of this TEAMER project, HEC will be able to further increase the performance and the output of this hydrokinetic turbine with improved hydrofoil profiles and shapes specifically tailored to the overall design of our turbine. Additionally, HEC will generate 2 sets of different hydrofoil shapes optimized for 3 different flow velocities i.e., 1.5 m/s and 3 m/s.

Moye Consultants, on behalf of Team Wave Powered Oceanographic Gliders – Wave Powered Oceanographic Gliders Navigation Assessment

Facility: Sandia National Laboratories

This project will test a wave powered underwater glider (WPOG), and autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) for oceanographic, climate science and bathymetric surveys. The system previously won awards in all three stages of the Ocean Observing Prize Competition and Moye Consultants are working to adapt wave energy to the blue economy application of AUVs. The wave energy conversion subsystem within the AUV has been previously demonstrated and validated. This TEAMER project will develop, test and validate the depth control and underwater maneuvering of the AUV. Sandia National Laboratory’s lake facility will be utilized to undertake these tests due to its suitable size, depth, and lifting facilities to undertake the planned guidance, maneuvering and depth control tests.

ORPC, Inc – Optimization of Fairing Geometry for ORPC Modular RivGen Power System

Facility: National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Ocean Renewable Power Company, Inc. (ORPC) has led the development of crossflow turbine hydrokinetic technology worldwide. ORPC designed and built a modular fairing for the RivGen MHK turbine which accommodates the efficient deployment and operation of turbine arrays. The modular support also acts to augment the flow into the rotor for increased power production. This work aims to optimize the hydrodynamic performance of the flow augmentation using a computational fluid dynamics study. The influence of the fairing cross-sectional shape and rotor-fairing spacing will be assessed. In addition to power performance, the analysis will look at discretized loading of the turbine components to quantify both ultimate and fatigue loads.

Pliant Energy Systems – Testing and tuning of a flow-powered pump for output pressure and volume as a function of current velocity

Facility: Chase Ocean Engineering Lab, UNH

Pliant’s Traveling Wave Hydrokinetic (TWH) Pump is an innovative system resilient to debris in riverine and coastal environments that leverages the water flow power to pump that same water. Tow testing will evaluate performance as measured by head pressure and pumped volume as a function of river flow speed.
Domestically, the pump will be used by off-grid communities and by farmers to supply river or stream water to livestock where grid power is unavailable. It requires no electricity or fuels to operate, helping to reduce emissions. In the developing world, the pump will irrigate crops and move dirty water through filters to make it potable and reduce disease.
Successful development of the pump will establish foundations for a generator implementation.

Sitkana – Experimental Performance Characterization of a Shrouded Axial-Flow Turbine

Facility: University of Washington – Harris Hydraulics, Alice C. Tyler Flume

Sitkana is requesting technical support to characterize the power performance of an axial-flow current turbine, as well as structural loads. The shrouded turbine design has been iteratively developed through un-instrumented river testing and now requires performance evaluation. The scale model power curve will allow us to predict power output in anticipated current velocities for a variety of turbine geometries (e.g., blade number, chord length) and validate numerical models. Sitkana, a Seattle-based company, will receive technical support from the University of Washington to perform this characterization in the Alice C. Tyler flume.

Tidal Energy Corp – Tidal energy resource modeling assessment and environmental biological analysis in Turnagain Arm, Cook Inlet, AK

Facility: Pacific Northwest National Lab

Tidal Energy Corp, through FERC’s pre application process #P-15109, has proposed the Turnagain Arm Tidal Electricity Generation project (TATEG), a 137 square mile site containing the fourth highest tides in the world that sits between Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula. Tidal Energy Corp, Dr. Zhaoquing Yang of PNNL, and Dr. Andrea Copping of PNNL propose to do a refined modeling study of the tidal current resource in Turnagain Arm and concurrent desktop analysis of the proposed hotspots’ existing environmental and biological research and permitting/regulatory investigation. These results will be used to characterize the resource as well as outline the likely path through regulatory and permitting issues for the site.

Triton Anchor LLC – Helical Anchor Group Validation Testing in Clay Soil

Facility: Texas A&M – Offshore Technology Research Center

Triton Anchor is working toward lowering the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for the marine renewable energy (MRE) industry by focusing on one of the costliest portions of offshore energy field development, anchoring. Triton Anchor’s continued collaboration with Texas A&M University (TAMU) and the Offshore Technology Research Center (OTRC) is focused on developing a viable anchoring solution able to meet the demand and growing need for accurately securing MRE converters to the seafloor without a need for vast amounts of mooring components with severe environmental and fishing industry impact. OTRC, with its 30+ years of mooring and anchoring testing expertise, will provide Triton Anchor soil-structure testing capabilities to analyze anchor behavior in actual well-characterized Gulf of Mexico soil in a variety of complex loading conditions.

University of Hawaii – Numerical Modeling of Halona Oscillating Water Column Wave Energy Converter for Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Docking

Facility: American Bureau of Shipping

This project’s support involves conducting numerical modeling experiments to understand the underlying nonlinear physics behind the design of the Halona Oscillating Water Column (OWC) type wave energy converter (WEC). This testing seeks to validate a new method to reduce the overall computational time required to model floating OWCs by parameterizing the effects of a quadratic PTO at two different scales. Halona functions as an omni-directional spar buoy WEC that provides power to an on-board autonomous underwater vehicle docking station in order to enable marine resident ocean observing. From prior physical testing of two different scale models, nonlinear hydrodynamic effects were observed. Modeling of two scales of Halona using OpenFOAM ABSfoam would help us to understand the underlying physics and optimize the PTO.

University of Virginia – Bio-Inspired Renewable Energy (BIRE) for Highly-efficient Low-cost Riverine Hydrokinetics

Facility: The Aaron Friedman Marine Hydrodynamics Laboratory at University of Michigan

A simple, resilient, and scalable solution, inspired by unsteady lift-based hydrodynamics observed in fish swimming, is proposed. The concept centers on pairs of out-of-phase oscillating hydrofoils placed into the incoming flow. The river flow causes the two foils to oscillate in opposite directions. Separating these hydrofoils will be an energy conversion mechanism named mechanical motion rectifier that converts the oscillatory motion of the foils to unidirectional rotary motion with high efficiency and minimal mass. A critical aspect of the concept is the integration of fin pitch and rectifier torque controls to ensure optimality for energy generation. Technical support is needed to test a 1 kW prototype in a towing tank capable of moving the carriage at high velocities (up to 5m/s).