OPT: PowerBuoy floats towards commercialization

Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) has announced its PowerBuoy APB350 A1 exceeded 125 days of deployment, and surpassed 1 MWh of energy generation.

The APB350 A1 PowerBuoy, initially deployed in August 2015, and then redeployed in October after the damage on the buoy caused by the hurricane was repaired, has also achieved a new maximum generation record of 32 kWh of energy for a 24-hour period, according to OPT.

In addition, the PowerBouy, deployed off the coast of New Jersey, has communicated key performance as well as meteorological data from its integrated weather station.

George Kirby, President and Chief Executive Officer of OPT, said: “The A1 results are significant as it continues to confirm design robustness and demonstrates measurable progress toward commercial readiness on three key focus areas: the PTO, the survivability of the PowerBuoy system during high sea states, and the linear seal, which prevents water from entering the buoy.

“We are receiving significant commercial interest resulting from the positive sea trials and ALT results, which supports our goal of 2016 commercialization.”

OPT also announced that it will retrieve the A1 for necessary inspection, repairs and maintenance.

Upon redeployment, sea trials of the A1 will continue off the coast of New Jersey to further validate the buoy reliability and survivability with periodic inspections as needed.

Furthermore, Mike Mekhiche, OPT’s Vice President of Engineering, stated that progress was also made on the ALT testing, which continues to validate the PTO design and generate important data on its reliability and life.

The ALT process consists of operating PTOs in tandem with accelerated operating profiles, which subjects the PTOs to various load conditions encountered in extreme sea states. The objective of the test is to simulate an equivalent three-year ocean deployment during a period of approximately nine months using PTOs that are identical to those of the A1.

“The ball screw PTO has traveled the equivalent of approximately 1,200 km so far, corresponding to approximately 1.8 million strokes, without any mission critical issues. The PTO ALT, which is currently operating 24/7, has already exceeded the deployed A1 PTO in terms of strokes and total distance traveled by the PTO,” said Mekhiche.

Ocean Power Technologies is a New Jersey-based wave energy developer that has designed their proprietary PowerBuoy technology based on a modular design.

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