TEAMER Network Director Announces RFTS 9 Technical Support Recipients

On May 9, 2023 the U.S. Testing Expertise and Access to Marine Energy Research (TEAMER) program selected ten projects through its ninth Request for Technical Support (RFTS), reflecting a total funding amount of more than $1.2 million. These projects will receive support for testing expertise and access to numerical modeling, laboratory or bench testing, tank/flume testing, and expertise within the growing TEAMER Facility Network. Selected applicants, along with their supporting Facility, will now submit their completed Test Plans, a requirement before assistance activities can commence. Applications for RFTS 10 are currently being accepted through July 7, 2023.

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:

Columbia Power Technologies – Investigation of Opportunities Mass Reduction and Improved Integration of Wave Energy Converter Components

Facility: Cardinal Engineering

This project will advance the state of the art for MRE developers of their structures and deployment practices. Manufacturing and deployment costs will be reduced, and opportunities for deployment, by tolerating rougher sea conditions safely will be enhanced by improvements to integration of structures and reduction of their mass.

Two existing structures, the WEC main body and heave plate will be optimized researching a reduced mass design utilizing a novel, layered steel and composite structure to conform to the maximum weight of ISO shipping containers. This combination of materials is also expected to transmit wave loading more efficiently between long structural members.

Aquantis Inc. – Hydrodynamic Analysis and Optimization of Aquantis Marine Turbine

Facility: National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Aquantis has developed a spar buoy-based axial-flow tidal turbine concept which its prototype is going to deploy in the open water in FY23. NREL will provide numerical modelling support for hydrodynamic loads/performances predictions as well as design parameters’ exploration of the system using both reduced-order and high-fidelity CFD approaches.

CyTroniQ USA – Mooring Lines for Marine Renewable Energy: Integrity after Seawater Exposure

Facility: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Many hydrokinetic marine energy devices are held in position with mooring lines. By monitoring data from CyTroAI-X distributed sensors embedded in these mooring lines, operators can schedule and dispatch crews for line maintenance and repair, resulting in lower costs and less downtime. In this study CyTroAI-X distributed sensors will be embedded in 1” diameter polyester, aramid and HMPE ropes and will be exposed to seawater for 3-5 months. Technicians will measure biofouling growth throughout the tests. Tensile tests before and after a multi-month exposure will demonstrate that the sensors can report static and dynamic strain in ropes accurately, and that the performance of the sensors does not degrade with long-term exposure to seawater, including corrosion and biofouling.

AWS Ocean Energy Ltd – Techno-Economic Optimization of the AWS Waveswing for Utility Scale Wave Farms

Facility: Re Vision Consulting

The Waveswing developed by AWS Ocean Energy is a submerged pressure differential WEC device that has recently completed sea-trials at EMEC in Scotland. The system has an inherently broad resonance bandwidth and is able to weather extreme storms by operating at variable depth.

If the technology is to become economically competitive, it needs to take advantage of economies of scale across all lifecycle stages. The metric used is levelized cost of electricity.

To support present commercialization efforts, Re Vision will support AWS with the development of a scalable techno-economic model. Re Vision Consulting has developed similar techno-economic models for a wide range of device developers, the US Department of Energy as well as National Labs.

Ramboll – OES Task 10 Numerical modeling of WECs

Facility: Sandia National Laboratories & National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Ramboll has requested that Sandia National Laboratories and NREL perform fluid dynamics simulations to support the Ocean Energy Systems Energy Technology Collaboration Programme (OES) Taks 10 Wave Energy Converters Modelling Verification and Validation effort. This work serves as a guide to modelers reviewing numerical options for modeling their marine energy devices, showing the methods used and allowing researchers to reproduce these modeling efforts. Once a modeler has tuned their chosen numerical model to accurately reproduce the experimental results, they can proceed with confidence in modeling their specific device design with a validated tool. The numerical models in this case will be compared with experiments performed at Aalborg University in Denmark.

RCAM Technologies – Ultra-Low-Cost Torpedo Anchors for Marine Renewable Energy

Facility: Sandia National Laboratories

RCAM has invented an extremely scalable and adaptable concrete torpedo anchor and installation method that substantially cuts manufacturing and installation costs and time, reduce carbon footprint, and facilitate localized manufacturing for blue economy anchoring. Torpedo anchors, which are dropped passively from a UAV drone or a ship embed in the seafloor bottom soils like darts, have been used extensively by the oil and gas industry in deep-water clayey soils, but have little data and experience in shallower waters or sandy soils, and no experience in blue economy applications. RCAM is collaborating with the Sandia National Laboratories to request technical support for experimental testing of RCAM’s novel ultra-low-cost torpedo anchor concepts using their 185-foot drop tower to test the embedment of the anchor in sandy soils.

CyTroniQ – Embedded Sensor Accuracy and Stability in Large Synthetic Mooring Lines

Facility: Stress Engineering Services, Inc.

Many hydrokinetic marine energy devices, including wave energy converters and floating tidal turbines, are held in position with mooring lines. Operators must ensure that mooring lines are intact, and that line fatigue is well within limits. Continuous monitoring will allow a shore-based operator to schedule and dispatch maintenance crews for line maintenance and repair, resulting in lower costs and less downtime for power production. CyTroAI-X distributed sensors can be embedded in mooring lines to allow monitoring of line tension and integrity. This study will show that the CyTroAI-X fiber accurately can report a static and dynamic strain in a variety of rope materials and that the performance of the CyTroAI-X fiber does not degrade with time or exposure to seawater.

Laminar Scientific Inc. – WEC-Sim Modelling of Laminar Scientific’s patented see-saw Wave Energy Converter

Facility: WEC-Sim Facility

Laminar Scientific’s patented nearshore see-saw wave energy converter has several features that will be assessed in this study utilizing the WEC-Sim Facility. One of these features is the ability to change float spacing between two spherical floats of the see-saw to adjust to different sea-states and maximize rotational motion produced at the pivot, and conversely, severe wave conditions would warrant the minimization of rotational motion by minimizing float spacing. This study will test the hypothesis that the see-saw WEC can generate out-of-phase behavior between its fore and aft floats and that spacing adjustments will lead to improved power capture across a range of sea-states.

Mondragon Goi Eskola Politeknikoa S.Coop. – Development of an advanced wave-to-wire model for floating OWC devices in WEC-Sim

Facility: WEC-Sim Facility

Accurate numerical models are crucial for the development of wave energy technologies, providing the means for power production and lifetime assessment, site selection, and design of mooring lines, PTO systems and controllers, among other aspects. The present project aims at developing a wave-to-wire numerical model for floating OWC devices based upon the WEC-Sim platform. To that end, nonlinear hydrodynamics, considering viscous and nonlinear Froude-Krylov effects, will be implemented, and new capabilities will be articulated into the WEC-Sim platform, incorporating thermos-aerodynamic effects for different air-turbines topologies. This numerical platform will be validated against existing experimental values and the impact of having such a holistic and accurate platform will be evaluated for critical aspects such as power production assessment, controller efficacy and lifetime assessment of critical elements.

Waveberg Development – Numerical Analysis of Two-Body Floating Attenuator WEC (Waveberg)

Facility: WEC-Sim Facility

The Waveberg is a near-shore wave attenuator which uses the motion from the waves to pump high pressure seawater to shore. On shore, the high pressure seawater drives a hydro-electric turbine or a desalination plant as island communities require power and fresh water. The Waveberg has been designed to generate power in the smaller waves predominant in the world’s ocean. Waveberg development seeks to build a baseline numerical model which can then be used to optimize the device configuration. The numerical model will have the dimensions of the current physical model (1:25 scale) to be tested at the Stevens Institute of Technology. Then dimensions and weight can be varied to seek an optimal configuration for the next set of tank tests at 1:10 scale.