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The Wave Energy Prize teams got to tour the 12-million gallon Maneuvering and Seakeeping (MASK) Basin at the U.S. Navy's Carderock facility in Maryland, where their devices will be tested this summer.
Miguel Quintero (left), of Carderock, discusses how devices will be moored in the MASK Basin.
José Zayas (top row, left), Director of the Energy Department's Wind and Water Power Technologies Office, and Cristin Dorgelo (top row, right), Chief of Staff of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, with some of the Wave Energy Prize teams.
Alison LaBonte, manager of marine and hydrokinetic technologies in WWPTO, describes the innovations coming out of the Wave Energy Prize.
Of the nine finalists and two alternates competing in the Wave Energy Prize, nine teams took an opportune break from developing their 1/20th-scale wave energy converter (WEC) technologies during the National Hydropower Association’s Waterpower Week conference, held in late April in Washington, D.C.
The three-day Wave Energy Prize Team Summit and Wave Energy Prize Showcase was kick-started by José Zayas, Director of EERE’s Wind and Water Power Technologies Office, when he recognized the teams during the conference’s opening session. While displaying and talking about their technologies, teams mingled with hydropower and marine and hydrokinetic stakeholders from industry, government, and academia, and shared ideas with each other as they seek to double the state-of-the-art performance of WECs through the Wave Energy Prize, in turn reducing the cost of wave energy.
Teams also shared their thoughts on the role of government in driving innovation, their success so far in the Wave Energy Prize, and the challenges they are overcoming in this final phase of the competition. Cristin Dorgelo, Chief of Staff at the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy and a thought leader in how prizes and challenges can spur radical technological breakthroughs, paid a special visit to the teams to congratulate them on their successes so far.
During the Team Summit, teams also made a visit to the U.S. Navy’s Carderock facility located in Bethesda, Maryland, to get their first glimpse of the Maneuvering and Seakeeping (MASK) Basin, a 12-million gallon wave-generating tank that will serve as the home for the Wave Energy Prize this summer, and where teams will test their 1/20th-scale WECs during the competition’s final testing phase. The tour of the MASK Basin was the highlight of the Team Summit for many teams, and it provided teams with a deeper understanding of the scale of the facility and the significance of their participation in the Wave Energy Prize.
Teams are continuing to build and perfect their 1/20th-scale WECs prior to shipping their devices to the Carderock facility in mid-July. Final testing is scheduled to begin during the first week of August. Each team’s device will be individually and rigorously tested at the MASK Basin over a one-week span. Teams are vying to win part of the $2.25-million Wave Energy Prize purse, and the winner(s) will be announced at the Wave Energy Prize Innovation Showcase in mid-November.