Marine Energy Program

Foundational R&D

Project Name: AquaHarmonics Testing Support

Project Team: Sandia National Laboratories (lead) and AquaHarmonics

Lead Recipient Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Wave energy converters (WECs) use the motion of waves to generate electricity and so require unique testing facilities that can recreate those rhythmic but highly varied motions. At one of those specialized facilities, located at Sandia National Laboratories, Oregon-based AquaHarmonics tested its power take-off system, the part of the device that produces electricity from the mechanical energy the WEC collects. This marked the first test by an industry developer at the Sandia Wave Energy Power Take-Off (SWEPT) Lab. SWEPT recreates the dynamics and interactions of waves using hydraulic actuators and a dynamics tracking control system that allows for real-time control, reliability analysis, system identification, and grid interface simulations. The SWEPT Lab was designed, developed, and commissioned in 2021, leveraging internal investment from Sandia National Laboratories and knowledge gained from the Water Power Technologies Office-funded Next-Generation WEC Power Take-Off Co-Design project.

The SWEPT Lab test helped confirm the capabilities of AquaHarmonics’ WEC components and refine numerical models, which will be used to further improve the economics of the device. With the results of this test, AquaHarmonics will next deploy a scaled-up prototype of its WEC device at Hawaii’s Wave Energy Test Site to validate operation in an open-ocean environment.

Foundational R&D Projects