Issue Date: 1/12/2015
Total Award Money: $8,000,000
FOA Objective: Improving the performance and reduce the technical risk of MHK technologies Advancements in MHK technologies to help these devices harness even more sustainable energy from marine environments.
Description: The Energy Department selected four entities to receive $7.4 million to spur innovation of next-generation water power component technologies, designed for manufacturability and built specifically for marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) systems. The projects address technical challenges in three areas: advanced controls, crosscutting power take-off (PTO)—which converts mechanical motion into electrical power—and innovative structures. Advancements in MHK technologies will help these devices effectively and sustainably harness increased amounts of renewable energy from marine environments.
Through this funding opportunity, the selected projects help improve the performance and reduce the cost of MHK technologies. Research and development supported by this funding will advance the following types of controls and components for use with MHK systems under development for commercial application:
- Advanced controls: Selected projects will design, develop, and validate components capable of monitoring and controlling the interaction of the device with the water resource for increased power production and efficiency.
- Crosscutting power take-off components: Selected projects will design, develop, and validate components for the "power take-off" systems of a broad variety of MHK devices, reducing the costs of deployments and increasing efficiency and availability. A power take-off is the MHK sub-system that includes the hardware needed to convert mechanical motion into electrical power.
- Innovative structures: Selected projects will design, develop, and validate advanced materials and structures for increased power production, availability, and greater manufacturability.
- Re Vision Consulting, LLC, in Sacramento, California, in collaboration with Ocean Energy USA, Resolute Marine Energy, CalWave, Dresser-Rand, Navigant Consulting, and University of Michigan
- Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, Virginia, in collaboration with Resolute Marine Energy, Energy Harvesting Technology, LLC, THK America, Inc., and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory
- Dehlsen Associates, LLC, in Santa Barbara, California, in collaboration with Helios Engineering, Wedge Global, Oregon State University, Time-Variable Systems, LLC, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory
- Pennsylvania State University, in State College, Pennsylvania, in collaboration with Verdant Power
Re Vision Consulting designed, manufactured and tested an optimal controls framework that can subsequently be applied to three different wave energy converter to help develop controls building blocks that can be applied to other devices.
Virginia Tech will develop a novel power take-off (PTO) system—the drivetrain and generator assembly that converts mechanical energy into electricity—to improve energy conversion efficiency and reduce the failure rate.
Dehlsen Associates LLC will optimize Wedge Global’s Multi-Translator Linear Switched Reluctance Machine technology by integrating their Model Predictive Controls and full-power electronics to significantly improve mean power.
Pennsylvania State University will utilize low-cost, net shape fabrication to develop a single piece, three-blade, pass-through-the-hub marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) composite rotor for the Verdant Power Gen5 Kinetic Hydropower System.