You are here

Installing, operating, and maintaining devices in harsh marine environments in a cost-effective and reliable manner presents significant difficulties. The corrosive saltwater environment, deep water, and high pressures at depth; dynamic benthic systems where devices will be anchored; sites that are sometimes located far from shore or port infrastructure; and extreme weather events all contribute to difficult conditions in which marine and hydrokinetic systems must be deployed and maintained. Developing and demonstrating solutions to solve this challenge would significantly reduce reliability concerns and enable greater access to project financing. Additionally, existing ships and port infrastructure have been developed specifically for other offshore commercial and industrial uses, and direct utilization of these ships and infrastructure without adaptation for the unique cost and performance requirements of marine energy technologies often results in suboptimal efficiency and high costs.

Through its Technology-Specific System Design and Validation Activity Area, WPTO aims to address these challenges through the following approaches:

  • Validate performance and reliability of systems through prototype testing, including in-water testing
  • Improve cost-effective methods for installation, operations, and maintenance (IO&M)
  • Support the development and adoption of international standards for device performance and insurance certification
  • Evaluate existing and potential needs for marine energy-specific IO&M infrastructure.

Featured Publications & Projects

River Hydrokinetics Reduce Dependence on Diesel in Alaska
In 2019, the Alaskan village of Igiugig worked with Ocean Renewable Power Company to deploy the RivGen® Power System.
Learn More
Land-Based Test of a Wave Energy Converter
In 2019, NREL completed a multi-year system design and validation project with Columbia Power using the 5-megawatt dynamometer.
Learn More
Tidal Testing Underway in New York’s East River
In 2020, Verdant Power deployed their fifth generation Free Flow System turbines with their new TriFrame™ mount in New York’s East River.
Learn More
Energy Department Funding Helps Transform Alaskan River into Renewable Energy Source
Project could establish a model for similar small, independent communities.
Learn More
WPTO Verdant Power Pre-Deployment
Verdant Power is progressing toward an installation of an array of its three, fifth generation tidal power turbines.
Learn More
Powering the Blue Economy™: Ocean Observing Prize
Integrate marine renewable energy with ocean observation platforms, to revolutionize data collection needed to understand and map the ocean.
Learn More
Waves to Water Prize
Accelerate the development of wave-powered desalination systems to provide drinking water in disaster relief and coastal locations.
Learn More
International Standards
International standards and IEC TC 114 specifications for marine energy.
Learn More
Subscribe to The Water Wire
The Water Power Technologies Office e-newsletter brings funding opportunities, events, publications, and news directly to your inbox.