We are getting into the homestretch for the teams competing in the U.S. DOE Wave Energy Prize. The teams are putting their devices in the water at the Naval Surface Warefare Center, Carderock Division in Bethesda, Maryland. Nine teams are assembling their devices onsite before testing them in the tank.
The Wave Energy Prize is a public prize challenge sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)‘s Water Power Program. The prize is designed to increase the diversity of organizations involved in Wave Energy Converter (WEC) technology development, while motivating and inspiring existing stakeholders. DOE envisions this competition will achieve game-changing performance enhancements to WEC devices, establishing a pathway to sweeping cost reductions on a commercial scale.
The wave energy industry is young and is experiencing many new innovations as evidenced by a sustained growth in patent activity. While the private industry is developing these early-concept WEC devices through design and benchtop prototype testing, funding is hard to secure for performance testing and evaluation of WEC devices in wave tanks at a meaningful scale. This is a problem for the industry since scaled WEC prototype tank testing, validation, and evaluation are key steps in the advancement of WEC technologies through the technical readiness levels to reach commercialization.
The teams are currently in the Test and Evaluation stage of the contest, which will continue until October 10th. The winning teams will be announced in November.
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.