The Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs have funded small companies to codevelop marine energy technologies with other applications at small scales and to develop solutions for issues like waterway pollution. These projects, if successful, can quickly and effectively move from design to prototype to commercial solution. WPTO also funds foundational R&D at non-federal institutions like universities.

Active Projects:

Underwater Vehicle Charging

  • Aegis Technology Inc. will work with several different project partners including the waterfront coastal community of Town Hull, Massachusetts, to develop a tidal turbine system to supply power to off-grid electric vehicle and electric project charging stations.
  • Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. will develop a modular and scalable small‐scale Mass‐on‐Spring Wave Energy Converter (MOSWEC) PowerBuoy system for reliable powering of autonomous ocean monitoring systems.
  • Oregon State University will codesign marine energy converters for autonomous underwater vehicle docking and recharging.
  • Oscilla Power, Inc. is developing a wave-powered, self-charging capability for autonomous underwater vehicles to extend the range of their missions.
  • ROI Engineering LLC plans to design a 10-kilowatt, low-cost oscillating water column wave energy converter (WEC) from fiberglass materials as well as a high-speed generator and a wireless charging station for autonomous or uncrewed underwater vehicles.
  • Resolute Marine Energy, Inc. is developing an innovative wave-driven powering system called Nereus™ that can provide a locally generated, reliable power source for underwater docking and recharge stations.

Ocean Platforms and Observation

  • Columbia Power Technologies, Inc. will deliver a preliminary wave energy conversion prototype—the RigRAY design—to validate a commercially viable path to providing renewable power to remote offshore oil and gas platforms.
  • iMetalx Group LLC is developing a deep ocean sensing platform to meet observation needs such as weather modeling, ocean mining, maritime surveillance, and aquaculture.
  • Ocean Renewable Power Company, Inc. will develop marine renewable energy technologies appropriate for powering subsea sensor networks and other systems, providing a power supply for instruments deployed in the ocean and further enabling long-term sensing missions.
  • Triton Systems, Inc. will design a WEC that can potentially double the available power and increase the capability of many types of buoys used in the ocean.
OEBuoy on the ocean at sunset.

Small companies are helping codevelop marine energy technologies with diverse applications at small scales – these projects are effective for moving from design to prototype to commercial solution. Photo: NREL

Storage Integration

  • Aegis Technology Inc. has teamed up with an end-user partner, Bioenno Tech, to codevelop a novel class of transportable, small marine energy systems that can combine with Bioenno’s back-end energy storage module.

Novel Devices

  • AQUAHARMONICS Inc. will develop a high-power density, commercially viable, compact, and lightweight wave energy converter (WEC) for powering end-user ocean observing instrumentation.
  • Ocean Motion Technologies, Inc. plans to fabricate a cost-effective, adaptive ocean wave energy device that can optimize its power output based on ambient environments.
  • SAHT Energy, LLC will investigate constructed waterway flow conditions and whether the company’s patented Suction Augmented Hydrokinetic Turbine can effectively harvest power at a favorable cost.

Debris Collection

  • Littoral Power Systems Inc. will develop its current energy-powered HydroCatch system to catch plastic debris in rivers before it enters the oceans.
  • Visionary Products Inc. will explore a cost-effective, manufacturable, and maintainable robotic solution for monitoring and removing floating trash from waterways.

Device Maintenance

  • 3newable LLC is designing a WEC to power ultraviolet light emitting diodes that prevent biofouling to reduce the number of expensive ship visits for maintenance.

Aquaculture

  • E-Wave Technologies LLC is collaborating with Virginia Tech on the development of a WEC to provide power for feeding and monitoring systems of an open-ocean fish farm with reduced cost, increased automation, and minimal environmental impacts.

Microgrid and Blue Economy Integration

  • University of Alaska Fairbanks will model the integration of marine energy into microgrids.
  • Tufts University will conduct a wave energy technology assessment for optimal grid integration and blue economy advancement.

PBE Research Centers

  • University of New Hampshire will establish the fourth national marine energy center, the Atlantic Marine Energy Center for Advancing the Marine Renewable Energy Industry and Powering the Blue Economy.

Ocean Sensing

  • Oscilla Power, Inc. will work with its partners to develop an ocean wave powered platform for oceanographic, radar-based sensors that will focus on optimizing performance and efficiency across in moderate wave energy climates.
  • Triton Systems, Inc. is developing a point-absorber type WEC that can be integrated with existing LiDAR buoy systems, which will provide needed power for these buoys to enable less maintenance, longer mission times, and increased reliability.

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