Category: DOE

30 Aug 2016

Oscilla Power Awarded $5M DOE Grant

The DOE just announced that Oscilla Power has been selected to receive a $5.35M grant towards a 4 year long, $10.2M project that will culminate in the testing of a community-scale Triton system in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. 

 

The Energy Department today announced 10 organizations selected to receive more than $20 million in funding for new research, development, and demonstration projects that advance and monitor marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) energy systems, which generate electricity from ocean waves and tidal currents. These projects will aim to improve the performance of MHK systems and advance environmental monitoring technologies that will help protect wildlife and reduce uncertainty regarding potential environmental impacts.

The projects announced today will contribute to the development of a commercially viable MHK industry and further America’s progress in proving wave and tidal energy as viable sources for our nation’s clean energy future. Recent studies conducted by the Energy Department found that America’s technically recoverable wave energy resource ranges between approximately 900 and 1,230 terawatt-hours (TWh) per year, distributed across the coast of Alaska, the West Coast, the East Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. The tidal streams resource ranges between approximately 220 and 330 TWh per year. For context, approximately 90,000 homes can be powered by 1 TWh per year. With more than 50 percent of the U.S. population living within 50 miles of coastlines, there is vast potential to provide clean, renewable electricity to communities and cities in U.S. coastal areas.

Three demonstration projects will integrate next-generation MHK hardware and software technologies into system designs. Their effectiveness will be tested during full-scale, open-water deployments over one year:

  • Dresser-Rand of Wellsville, New York, will integrate a one-megawatt air-turbine power system into the OceanEnergy oscillating water column wave energy device, doubling the power output of the previous design. The performance of the device will be demonstrated and validated during a year-long deployment proposed to occur off the coast of Oregon.
  • Ocean Renewable Power Company of Portland, Maine, will enhance the performance of its tidal turbine system by integrating several advanced component technologies. The device’s novel floating design will move the turbine near the surface to capture higher flow velocities and will help reduce the cost of installation and on-water operations, ultimately lowering the cost of energy. This project will demonstrate and monitor turbine performance during its deployment in the Western Passage off the coast of Maine.
  • Oscilla Power of Seattle, Washington, will integrate cost-reducing technology advancements into its Triton wave energy converter. Oscilla’s unique device design features tethered connections between a surface float and an underwater heave plate. This allows for energy extraction in multiple degrees of freedom, which will aim to reduce the cost of wave energy. The device will be tested at the U.S. Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site in Hawaii.

 

The selected environmental projects will help reduce the time and cost associated with required environmental monitoring. As a new industry, the MHK community is working with regulators to amass data to further demonstrate its environmental sustainability around issues such as noise generation from devices and device interactions with marine organisms to confirm that these fall within regulatory limits. Seven projects will improve, test, and validate cost reductions in environmental monitoring equipment that will give industry a deeper understanding of interactions between MHK systems and the marine environment:

  • BioSonics Inc. of Seattle, Washington, will develop an active acoustic monitoring system to automatically detect and locate wildlife at ranges between 200 and 300 meters. The monitoring system will track wildlife near MHK devices in three dimensions.
  • Florida Atlantic University of Boca Raton, Florida, will improve the capabilities of existing light imaging, ranging, and detection tools. While reducing production costs, this project could provide a powerful new tool to observe marine animal interactions with MHK devices, particularly in murky or low light conditions.
  • Integral Consulting, Inc., of Santa Cruz, California, will leverage an existing buoy platform to develop a cost-effective compact array of sensors that will reduce the time and cost of taking extended measurements of noise produced by devices.
  • Integral Consulting, Inc., of Santa Cruz, California,will also develop and test a standardized mapping toolset and protocol for assessing seafloor habitat conditions. New hardware and software tools will be developed to create maps of these habitats while defining baseline seafloor conditions to inform pre-construction studies.
  • University of Washington of Seattle, Washington, will optimize a drifting underwater microphone system to capture sounds. By simplifying deployment and minimizing noise pollution, this work will reduce the time and cost to measure noise produced by MHK devices over large spatial scales.
  • University of Washington of Seattle, Washington, will further develop an integrated set of instruments for monitoring marine animal interactions with MHK devices. The hardware and software will be made more flexible to allow usability among various types of MHK devices.
  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution of Woods Hole, Massachusetts, will adapt existing electromagnetic field sensors for use around MHK devices. This technology will help improve stability in waters near operating devices, and provide needed data to understand any potential risk that electromagnetic fields near MHK devices may pose to the environment.

 

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy accelerates development and deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. Go to water.energy.gov to learn more about our Water Power Technology Office’s funding opportunities and efforts to develop innovative technologies capable of generating renewable, environmentally friendly, cost-competitive electricity from water resources. To learn more about how MHK devices capture energy from waves, tides and currents, view this Energy 101 video.

 

19 Aug 2016

Oscilla Power Wins New DOE Award

Today, the Energy Department announced 43 small businesses will participate in the second round of the Small Business Vouchers (SBV) pilot. With vouchers in hand, these businesses can better leverage the world-class capabilities of the department’s national laboratories and bring their next-generation clean energy technologies to the marketplace faster.

“We need to accelerate the pace of clean energy innovation to build stronger economy and a brighter, cleaner future for our nation” said David Friedman, Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). “The Small Business Vouchers pilot breaks down barriers for some of our greatest entrepreneurial minds, allowing them to work with our national laboratories across sectors and industries to accelerate a clean energy revolution that’s been underway since 2008.”

The Department opened the first round of SBV, a Technology-to-Market Lab Impact pilot, in fall 2015. In SBV’s first round, 33 small businesses were selected to receive vouchers totaling $6.7 million. Today’s 43 awards total more than $8 million. To date, the Department’s SBV pilot has connected 76 small businesses with the labs, totaling $15 million worth of vouchers.

A full list of the SBV projects may be viewed on www.SBV.org.

28 Dec 2015

US Energy Department Awards $10.5 Million; Oscilla Power Among Recepients

December 28, 2015. The Energy Department today announced six organizations selected to receive up to $10.5 million to support the design and operation of innovative marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) systems through survivability and reliability-related improvements. As part of its MHK technology research and development efforts, the Energy Department is working to harness the largely untapped renewable energy in waves, tidal, ocean, and river currents that could provide clean, affordable energy to homes and businesses across the country’s coastal regions. The improvements supported by this funding will help these devices last longer, cost less to maintain and capture even more sustainable energy from the enormous potential of the nation’s oceans and rivers.

Projects funded under these awards will improve the survivability characteristics and reduce uncertainty regarding installation, operations, and maintenance of MHK systems operating in potentially harsh marine conditions, thus extending their lifespans and ultimately leading to a reduction in the cost of MHK-derived energy.

Three projects will increase the survivability of wave energy converters, addressing the challenges of designing MHK energy systems to operate in the ocean environment for years:

  • Dehlsen Associates, LLC, of Santa Barbara, California, is developing a wave energy converter (WEC) comprised of multiple pods that use common components to achieve economies of scale. In this project, the device structure will be optimized to improve its survivability characteristics, thus significantly reducing the cost of energy derived from the WEC.
  • M3 Wave LLC, of Salem, Oregon, is developing a WEC that sits on the ocean floor and harnesses energy from the pressure waves beneath ocean waves. This project will develop modeling tools to explore ways to minimize effects of sediment transport, such as water erosion, displacement, and tilting of the device, and to increase the lifetime of the system by reducing maintenance requirements in commercial-scale deployments.
  • Oscilla Power, Inc., of Seattle, Washington, is developing a WEC consisting of a surface float that is tethered to a base suspended in the water. This projects aims to optimize the device’s storm-survival configurations, which will decrease the loads the device experiences during extreme conditions, thus lowering the resulting cost of energy.