Wave Energy Prize recap ahead of TG3 review

Illustration/WECCA WEC (Photo: Wave Energy Prize)

Wave Energy Prize challenge teams, numbering 9 finalists and 2 alternative teams, are currently finalizing their 1:20 scale prototypes that will be tested the US Navy’s MASK Basin from August through early October.

So far, the qualified teams built and tested their 1:50 scale wave energy device models at university facilities across USA, and conducted significant numerical modeling studies to meet the requirements for the second technology gate (TG) review.

The nine finalist and two alternate teams have introduced various wave energy converter (WEC) designs, including two submerged areal absorbers, four point absorbers, two attenuators, and three terminators.

Wave Energy Prize team states a number of technical innovations in the areas of geometry, materials, power conversion and controls has been presented in the WEC designs, including:

  • adaptive sea state-to-sea state control,
  • wave-to-wave control,
  • power absorption in multiple degrees of freedom,
  • optimized float shapes and dimensions for energy absorption for broad bandwidth of wave frequencies,
  • survival strategies such as submerging beneath the surface for extreme storms,
  • use of structures and materials that are cost effective to manufacture, and
  • flexible membranes that react to the wave pressure over a broad area.

For the TG3 review that will verify the level of build progress and test readiness of the identified finalist teams and alternates, and determine the finalist teams that will participate in the 1:20 scale testing , the teams were required to submit the relevant documentation by June 15.

The finalists who pass the TG3 review, securing the chance to test their devices at 1:20 scale at US Navy’s MASK Basin in Carderock, will be announced no later than July 1.

The team that ranks the highest after testing the 1:20 scaled WEC device model will be awarded $1.5 million. The second team will win an award in the amount of $500,000, and the third-placed tam will be awarded $250,000.

The winners(s) of the Wave Energy Prize challenge will be announced on November 16, 2016.

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