The Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) will host a series of R&D Deep Dive webinars to share updates on tools, analysis, and emerging technologies to advance marine energy as well as next-generation hydropower and pumped storage systems.
These webinars will feature WPTO technology managers, National Laboratory research experts, and other partners, and will highlight WPTO's research and development efforts for the hydropower and marine energy industries. These webinars are an opportunity for stakeholders to provide feedback on tool developments, learn about the latest water power research findings, and get trained up on new resources available to support water power technology development. Each webinar presentation will close with a Q&A.
There are no upcoming webinars.
The WPTO e-newsletter brings funding opportunities, events, publications, & activities related to hydropower and marine energy directly to your inbox.
WPTO's Marine Energy e-newsletter shares news and updates on tools, analysis, and emerging technologies to advance marine energy.
WPTO's Hydropower e-newsletter features news on R&D and applied science to advance sustainable hydropower and pumped-storage technologies.
May 19, 2022 | Alternative Opportunities for Hydropower
On May 19, 2022, a cross-lab team from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory presented on alternative opportunities for hydropower.
Opportunities exist to advance hydropower within water infrastructure by characterizing both energy and non-energy drivers to realize unique, untapped values from a range of benefits including new business models, improved facility and community resilience, and improved environmental outcomes.
The research team focused on five primary areas:
- Water supply and treatment
- Source water recharge
- Irrigation modernization
- Environmental restoration and cleanup
- Deferrable loads.
0:00 – Introduction by Maxine Hillman, WPTO Communications
3:14 – Madden Sciubba, WPTO Hydropower Support
5:32 – Rajiv Prasad, Earth Scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Trevor Atkinson, Earth Scientist at Idaho National Laboratory
34:20 – Q&A with Research Team
April 27 | TEAMER: Making Marine Energy Research Accessible
The Testing Expertise & Access for Marine Energy Research (TEAMER) is making marine energy research accessible. The program connects marine energy innovators with state-of-the-art facilities for the support, testing, and expertise they need to create the next big advancement in renewable ocean energy. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and directed by the Pacific Ocean Energy Trust (POET). More information: teamer-us.org.
0:00 – Introduction by Maxine Hillman, Water Power Technologies Office
4:34 – Tim Ramsey, Water Power Technologies Office Marine Energy Program Manager
8:50 – Matt Sanders, Pacific Ocean Energy Trust
26:10 – Jack Pan, Ocean Motion Technologies
33:25 – Tim Mundon, Oscilla Power
44:25 – Anna Edwards, Oscilla Power
45:30 – Nikki Sather, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
58:00 – John Ahem, University of New Hampshire
1:05:30 – Q&A with Panelists
March 16 | LUPA: An Open-Source Laboratory Scale Wave Energy Converter
Oregon State University and the Pacific Marine Energy Center presented the latest design and testing program for the Laboratory Upgrade Point Absorber (LUPA) on March 16, 2022. LUPA is a robust, open-source Wave Energy Converter designed for deployment in the O.H. Hinsdale Wave Basin and can operate as a one-body, two-body (heave only), and a three-body 6 degrees of freedom system. The webinar presented the philosophy behind LUPA, give the latest engineering updates, and spark conversations around collaboration and future utilization of the device.
0:00 – Introduction by Maxine Hillman
0:29 – Bryson Robertson, Oregon State University
3:19 – Bret Bosma, Oregon State University
30:13 – Courtney Beringer, Oregon State University
February 9 | Marine Energy Testing Needs to Inform Infrastructure Investments
On March 22, 2021, the Water Power Technologies office announced $7.1 million to seven projects supporting marine energy testing infrastructures across five Department of Energy National labs. The goal of the award to was invest in lab infrastructure in support of advancing technologies under the Powering the Blue Economy Initiative and develop a roadmap on long-term infrastructure needs for marine energy.
A cross-lab team made up of representatives from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories was tasked with identifying areas for WPTO investments in laboratory testing infrastructure.
“Understanding the present and future testing needs is really going to be crucial for us and also for WPTO to be able to make an informed decision on programmatic investments,” said Rebecca Fao, a researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, during the webinar.
The research team shared their preliminary analyses on testing needs and requested feedback from stakeholders and constituents during a webinar on February 9, 2022.
0:00 – Introduction by Maxine Hillman
3:15 - Lauren Ruedy, WPTO Marine Energy Technology Manager
5:45 - Rebecca Fao, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
15:45 - Budi Gunawan, Sandia National Laboratory
28:05 - Emma Cotter, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
34:22 – Concluding remarks and Next Steps by Rebecca Fao
39:08 – Q&A with Research Team
January 26 | The Environmental Decision Support Toolkit and Relicensing
The number of hydropower facilities facing Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) relicensing will double between 2020 and 2030. It’s a process that can draw huge costs both financially and in the time needed. In a webinar on January 26, 2022, Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Esther Parish, a member of the team behind the Environmental Decision Support Toolkit walked through the online, interactive, and science-based questionnaire, which provides users with a systematic and transparent method for identifying the potential environmental impacts of a proposed hydropower project, cutting down on discussion time.
Tim Welch, Hydropower Program Manager in the Wind and Water Power Technologies Office, introduced Parish and the webinar by asking a broad question: “What does a sustainable hydropower project look like?”
After multiple studies, the result was the Environmental Decision Support Toolkit designed to:
- Characterize and summarize the best-available science for use by diverse hydropower stakeholders seeking to better understand potential hydropower project impacts on the riverine ecosystem.
- Provide transparent and consistent methodology for identifying and discussing potential environmental impacts during hydropower licensing negotiations.
- Point users toward key river function indicators of concern to reduce the time and cost of hydropower licensing negotiations and promote greater certainty in federal authorization processes for hydropower development and relicensing.
The desired next step is for individuals to use and implement the toolkit.
“We would love to hear the results of how that goes and get feedback on ways we can improve this,” Parish said during the question-and-answer section of the webinar. Learn more by watching the full webinar:
2021 R&D Deep Dive Webinars
November 18 | Highlights of the Hydropower Licensing Report
The team behind the Examination of the Hydropower Licensing and Federal Authorization Process report analyzed licensing and approval timelines, project attributes that may influence those timelines, and their combined effect on costs and risks to developers. Attendees learned how this study will support policymakers, federal and state regulators, and industry stakeholders, informing discussions helpful to individual license proceedings and to policies affecting efficiencies within the larger process. Download the slides >>
October 27 | FAST Forward: The FAST PSH Commissioning Prize Winning Concepts
This webinar reviewed the accomplishments of the FAST PSH Prize winners and how they intend to move their pumped-storage hydropower concepts and projects into the future. Three of the winning teams described how their innovation has evolved from their original pitch concepts with support from participating national labs including Argonne National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Download the slides >>
SEPTEMBER 15 | WPTO IN ALASKA
Alaska is a living laboratory, one that the Department of Energy knows well. Representatives from the Water Power Technologies Office share the work they are doing along the coasts and waterways of Alaska and offer insights into what could be next for water power in The Last Frontier. Download the slides >>
August 11 | Seeding Water Power Innovation: An R&D Showcase
In 2019, The Water Power Technologies Office established the Seedlings Program to provide smaller funding awards for national lab researchers to explore niche projects and creative ideas in hydropower and marine renewable energy research. In just two years, the pilot funded over 70 R&D projects across six national laboratories with sums up to $100,000 each. These projects have the potential to inform future programmatic competitive solicitations, initiatives, and follow-on projects depending on outcomes. Through project presentations and panel discussions, presenters will share solutions found, failures faced, and lessons learned in their innovative process.
JULY 28 | CONTRIBUTING DATA AND INFORMATION TO PRIMRE
DOE's Water Power Technologies Office recently presented on PRIMRE (Portal and Repository for Information on Marine Renewable Energy). PRIMRE is WPTO’s centralized system for storing, curating, and disseminating data and information for all aspects of marine energy. All data and information generated from WPTO national lab, university, and industry projects will find a home somewhere in PRIMRE. This webinar provided a brief introduction to the PRIMRE universe, and then focused on how you can contribute your data to the various knowledge hubs that make up PRIMRE: MHK Data Repository, Tethys, Tethys Engineering, Marine Energy Software Database, Marine Energy Projects Database, and Telesto. PRIMRE is a collaboration between three US Department of Energy national laboratories: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories. Download the slides >>
July 8 | 2021 Hydropower RAPID Toolkit Annual Update
NREL provided an overview on the Hydropower Regulatory and Permitting Desktop (RAPID) Toolkit project as well as recent regulatory and technological updates, including newly released tools, data, and publications. Participants asked questions and provided input on how the hydropower community can best utilize the toolkit. Download the slides >>
June 24 | Underwater Observations – Monitoring the Environment around Marine Energy Devices
The Triton Initiative is researching various environmental monitoring technology and methods to understand how different types of stressors caused by marine renewable energy devices can be tested. The research focuses on the known environmental stressors identified in the State of the Science Report produced by PNNL’s OES-E team. The stressors include collision risk, underwater noise, electromagnetic fields, or changes in habitat. The information gleaned from this research will produce a set of recommendations to inform regulators on how to safely permit marine renewable energy devices bringing the nation closer to meeting climate change goals and reducing dependency on fossil fuels. Download the slides >>
June 2 | Accelerating Irrigation Modernization
DOE's Water Power Technologies Office is accelerating reinvestment in the nation’s irrigation systems to simultaneously promote farmers’ and rural communities’ economic well-being, generate more renewable energy, advance environmental stewardship, and enable agricultural decarbonization. Idaho National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed a decision support and visualization tool called IrrigationViz to analyze the costs and benefits of modernization. Download the slides >>
May 27 | Introducing the New Marine Energy Atlas
NREL and WPTO presented on the recently upgraded Marine Energy Atlas, a data and visualization platform that houses the highest resolution publicly available long-term wave hindcast data set that covers the East Coast, West Coast, Alaska, and Hawaii.
The Marine Energy Atlas is a product of the multi-lab resource characterization project. An interactive mapping tool developed to explore potential for marine energy resources, the atlas depicts and maps wave energy; tidal, ocean, and riverine current resources; as well as ocean thermal resources in the United States. Users can explore several variables in each of these mapped resource types, such as peak wave period, tidal and ocean current speeds, and more, by employing data layers. Download the slides >>
April 16 | Marine Energy Composites & Manufacturing Workshop
WPTO held a workshop on marine energy composites and manufacturing. The Marine Energy Composites & Manufacturing Workshop was a deep dive on composite materials for the marine energy industry. Examples were shared of manufacturing processes that are currently being researched and developed. Panel discussions and breakout sessions examined the challenges and barriers that must be overcome to support large-scale manufacturing processes.
April 9 | Leveraging the Advantages of Additive Manufacturing to Produce Advanced Composite Structures
WPTO held a webinar on “Leveraging the Advantages of Additive Manufacturing to Produce Advanced Composite Structures for Marine Energy Systems.” Many marine energy systems designers and developers are beginning to implement composite materials into the load-bearing structures of their devices, but traditional mold-making costs for composite prototyping are disproportionately high and lead times can be long. Furthermore, established molding techniques for marine energy structures generally require many manufacturing steps, such as secondary bonding and tooling. This webinar explores the possibilities of additively manufactured composite molds and how they can be used to reduce costs and lead times through novel design features and processes for marine energy composite structures. Download the slides >>
April 6 | Introduction to Working with the U.S. Department of Energy
WPTO held a webinar for those interested in working with the DOE or its associated national labs. DOE representatives directing research for hydropower and marine energy showcased opportunities for working with the DOE, including different research and development, professional development, and career opportunities. Download the slides >>
March 31 | Key Industry Trends for U.S. Hydropower: An Overview of the 2021 U.S. Hydropower Market Report
WPTO held a webinar to present findings and U.S. hydropower trends from the January 2021 edition of the U.S. Hydropower Market Report. Led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the report compiles data from public and commercial sources as well as research findings from DOE projects to provide a comprehensive picture of developments in the U.S. hydropower and pumped-storage fleet and industry trends for U.S. and global hydropower. Download the slides >>
MARCH 19 | CREVICE CORROSION IN SEAWATER USING CFRP/HYBRID COMPOSITE AS PART OF A NOVEL CREVICE FORMER
WPTO held its second webinar in the WPTO R&D Deep Dive Webinar Series. Professor David Miller gives a summary of marine hydrokinetic energy composites testing at Montana State University (MSU).
The primary structure of MHK energy devices have difficult and challenging environments for which fiber reinforced plastics are often considered. For cost benefits, glass fiber reinforced plastics (GFRP) are the most prevalent system under consideration. MSU and Sandia National Laboratory have performed research into the moisture effects on the stiffness, strength, and damage of GFRPs for many years. This talk presents a summary of a portion of this effort and also provides references to the thesis and conferences that contain the detailed information. The results include models of moisture absorption, effects of stress on moisture uptake, effects of moisture on damage modes and development, laminate stacking order effects, and culminates with moisture uptake effects on a large sample of industry collected coupons. Download the slides >>
March 26 | Summary of Marine and Hydrokinetic (MHK) Composites Testing at Montana State University
WPTO held its first webinar in the WPTO R&D Deep Dive Webinar Series. Francisco Presuel-Moreno, professor in the ocean and mechanical engineering department at Florida Atlantic University, presented on crevice corrosion in seawater using CFRP/hybrid composite as part of a novel crevice former.
Marine hydrokinetic (MHK) devices for renewable energy power generation are fully or partially immersed in seawater while in service. MHK devices sometimes are made of composites and a variety of alloys. The composite type used is sometimes carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites, other times fiber glass reinforced polymer (GFRP) composites are used. In some cases, the composites are fastened using metallic hardware. The fastened composites can cause tight occluded regions that later could become crevice corrosion on the fastened metal regardless of the type of composite. A modified crevice former was used to investigate crevice corrosion for fastened samples immersed in seawater using CFRP/hybrid composite plates. Three alloys were investigated: 316 stainless steel, Monel and Titanium alloy. Selected samples were removed for visual examination and dis-assembled after more than 270 days (up to 810 days). Crevice corrosion and pitting corrosion was found on the stainless steel and Monel hardware, and corrosion extent increased with time. Download the slides >>