Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. announced that it redeployed the APB350 (A1) PowerBuoy off the coast of New Jersey and resumed sea trials. OPT also released selected performance data gathered during the A1’s initial deployment as well as initial results of the Accelerated Life Testing (“ALT”) on its redesigned APB350 Power TakeOff (“PTO”) system.
George H. Kirby, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ocean Power Technologies, stated, “We are encouraged by A1’s performance to date including power generation during its initial deployment, especially considering the recent rough and high sea states which resulted from Hurricane Joaquin. Three key focal points of the A1 sea trial have demonstrated considerable progress toward commercial readiness: the linear seal, which prevents water from entering the buoy; the PTO, which has showed minimal wear during the initial deployment; and the survivability of the PowerBuoy system during high sea states.”
Mr. Kirby also noted that the buoy demonstrated and communicated key meteorological data including air temperature, wind speed and direction, and atmospheric pressure using the buoy’s integrated weather station.
Dr. Mike M. Mekhiche, OPT’s Vice President of Engineering, stated, “The A1 has been impressive in its power generation performance, often significantly exceeding the name plate rating of 350 Watts. To date, the maximum power produced during any 24-hour period has exceeded 28kWh, which is 233% more than the nameplate rating of 8.4kWh.”
The A1 also demonstrated its ability to generate sufficient power at very low sea states, confirming significant PTO efficiency improvements as compared to the previous design. These improvements extend the buoy’s ability to provide required power to its payload over longer “zero wave” periods. This persistence is a critical performance requirement for potential customers of autonomous offshore power.
Dr. Mekhiche also noted that ALT testing has progressed favorably. 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 within a period of approximately nine months using PTOs that are identical to those of the A1.
Mr. Kirby also noted continued progress on the next generation of the APB350, which Ocean Power Technologies expects to be ready for deployment by the end of the current fiscal year. “We believe that the combination of sea trials, accelerated life testing, and feedback from the Technical Advisory Panel will help us shorten our product’s time to market, and the resulting information will help to increase the confidence of our prospective customers in the overall performance of the ABP350.”