ORPC wraps up power take-off testing at UMaine

ORPC and UMaine teams during testing (Photo: UMaine)

US-based hydrokinetic developer Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) has concluded the full-scale testing of a specialized bearing system and associated driveline components at the University of Maine.

The components, designed for underwater systems that capture energy from ocean tides and river currents, were tested at the University of Maine (UMaine) Advanced Structures and Composites Center.

The goal of the testing was to make the systems more durable and efficient, reduce operation costs and advance commercialization of marine hydrokinetic power, ORPC informed.

Chris Sauer, ORPC Co-founder and CEO, said: “We successfully collected several hundred hours of high-resolution data that verified our specialized bearing performed as expected. We look forward to further analyzing the results.”

Habib Dagher, Executive Director of the UMaine Composites Center, added: “We were extremely pleased to conduct an extensive test program on ORPC’s bearing system and components in our laboratory, part of our ongoing mission to serve Maine through research and development. Maine needs renewable ocean-based energy to further diversify our energy sources and jump-start our coastal economies.”

This is the first phase of ORPC’s project dubbed Power Take-off System for Marine Renewable Devices, which is supported by the US Department of Energy.

Future phases of the project will center on development of a highly rugged electrical generator to reduce failure rates, ORCP revealed.

Since 2007, ORPC and UMaine have been collaborating to link the disciplines of marine science and engineering in pursuit of ocean energy excellence.

Their work has included computer modeling of tidal currents, sub-scale technology testing and the pioneering of environmental monitoring technologies, techniques and analysis, according to ORPC.

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