Sandia’s Water Power Technologies program develops novel, state-of-the-art materials to reduce the cost of constructing, deploying and operating marine hydrokinetic (MHK) devices.

Coatings

When selecting a coating for a MHK device, developers must consider its ability to withstand aquatic conditions, its potential to release toxins into the environment, and its cost. Because only a few options are available, current deployments are subject to varying degrees of corrosion and biofouling. To address this problem, Sandia develops anti-biofouling and anti-corrosion coatings specifically for MHK devices.

Using our salt-fog chamber, we study the affects of ocean water on coatings. These studies help developers select coatings best suited for ocean environments.

Using our salt-fog chamber, we study the effects of  salt spray on coatings and various substrates. These studies help developers select coating systems best suited for ocean environments.

Laboratory tests of our anti-biofouling coatings, such as the one pictured above, show statistically significant reductions in biofouling.

Laboratory tests of our anti-biofouling coatings show statistically significant reductions in biofouling.

Composites

Structural Health Monitoring - Composites

Composites used for MHK components are subject to fatigue, performance reduction caused by uptake water, and failure due to manufacturing or operational defects. In ocean environments, composites are also affected by salt water. To help developers engineer more reliable and effective devices, Sandia partnered with researchers at Montana State University to build a MHK Composite Materials Database. This open-source database enables developers to easily compare and select composites to optimize power performance and reliability. We also investigate how sensors monitor composite performance in order to support structural health monitoring.

Download the SNL/MSU/DOE MHK Materials Database

Composites used for MHK devices must be able to withstand operation in a salt-water environment.

Contact: Bernadette Hernandez – baherna@sandia.gov

References