Oscilla Power, in collaboration with academic institutions such as the Advanced Structures and Composites Center (ASCC) at the University of Maine and the Maine Maritime Academy, has deployed a 1:6 scale prototype of its 1 MW Triton-C wave energy converter in open waters off the east coast of the United States.
Wave energy converter put to the test on the high seas
The goal of these tests is to evaluate the payload and survivability of the device on a large scale in a real ocean environment. Oscilla Power plans to use the results to improve the engineering design of the 1 MW Triton-C, scheduled for launch this year.
A fundamental purpose of this evaluation is to validate the device’s ability to withstand extreme weather conditions , as taking advantage of an anticipated submersible capability will provide the Triton-C with the necessary resistance to even the most adverse waves. Additionally, these tests will serve as a tool for the company to make accurate projections about the power that the full-scale system will generate in various wave conditions.
Tim Mundon, chief technology officer at Oscilla Power, said: “While we have excellent design and computer-driven simulations, there is no substitute for running the unit at its own pace in a real operating environment. Through partnership with Maine Maritime Academy and the University of Maine, we are able to complete these tests to validate our assumptions and numerical models to ensure our commercial production unit is performing as designed. This is a critical milestone in the design”.
With nearly thirty years of dedication to research and development, ASCC led the structural design and construction of a submerged concrete ring intended to serve as a lifting platform for the device. Likewise, the ASCC has provided support in obtaining permits, deployment, supervision and dismantling of the project.
Notably, this technology represents the fourth time it has demonstrated and studied technologies at the Castine location.
“We are pleased to support Oscilla Power in the design and fabrication of the wave energy converter hull at the UMaine Center for Composites and Advanced Structures. This deployment marks an important step to help develop local sources of clean energy and local jobs”said Anthony Viselli, deputy director of ocean energy and engineering at the ASCC.
Importantly, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Water Power Technologies Office has consistently supported Oscilla Power, as well as the wave energy industry as a whole. DOE representatives were present during the project launch.
Jennifer Garson, director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office, said: “Marine energy technologies hold tremendous promise for providing clean, reliable energy to remote and coastal communities, as well as for offshore jobs. It is exciting to see Oscilla Power test the scale prototype of its Triton-C wave energy converter in real-world conditions and take an important step towards realizing the potential of marine energy.”.
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