Reference Model Project (RMP)

The Reference Model Project (RMP), sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), was a partnered effort to develop open-source marine hydrokinetic (MHK) point designs as reference models (RMs) to benchmark MHK technology performance and costs, and an open-source methodology for design and analysis of MHK technologies, including models for estimating their capital costs, operational costs, and levelized costs of energy. The RMP team included a partnership between DOE, and four national laboratories — Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

Working with these partners, we developed and validated models for six types of MHK devices. These devices are:

  • A Tidal Current Turbine (RM1)
  • A River Current Turbine (RM2)
  • A Wave Point Absorber (RM3)
  • An Ocean Current Turbine (RM4)
  • An Oscillating Surge Wave Energy Converter (RM5), and
  • An Oscillating Water Column (RM6).

We encourage MHK developers to apply the RMP methodology, with the appropriate reference resource sites, to design and estimate levelized cost of energy for their technologies.

Fact Sheet

Heinrichs, Todd (2015). DOE Reference Model Project. SAND 2015-3054M

Reports

V. Neary, M. Previsic, R. Jepsen, M. Lawson, Y. Yu, A. Copping, A. Fontaine, K. Hallett, D. Murray (2014). Methodology for Design and Economic Analysis of Marine Energy Conversion (MEC) Technologies. SAND2014-9040

V. Neary, B. Gunawan, C. Michelen, A. Fontaine, P. Bachant, M. Wosnik, B. Straka, R. Meyer (2013). US Department of Energy (DOE) National Lab Activities in Marine Hydrokinetics: Scaled Model Testing of DOE Reference Turbines. SAND2013-7241

A.E. Copping, S.H. Geerlofs (2011). The Contribution of Environmental Siting and Permitting Requirements to the Cost of Energy for Marine and Hydrokinetic Devices.

M. Previsic (2011). Economic Methodology for the Evaluation of Emerging Renewable Technologies

Main Report

V. Neary, M. Previsic, R. Jepsen, M. Lawson, Y. Yu, A. Copping, A. Fontaine, K. Hallett, D. Murray (2014). Methodology for Design and Economic Analysis of Marine Energy Conversion (MEC) Technologies. SAND2014-9040

Reference Site Resource

Brian Polagye (2012). Reference Model 1–Tidal Energy: Resource

Performance

G. Bir, M. Lawson, Y. Li (2011). Structural Design of a Horizontal-axis Tidal Current Turbine Composite Blade

M.J. Lawson, Y. Li, D.C. Sale (2011). Development and Verification of a Computational Fluid Dynamics Model of a Horizontal-axis Tidal Current Turbine

Structural Analysis

Refer to: V. Neary, M. Previsic, R. Jepsen, M. Lawson, Y. Yu, A. Copping, A. Fontaine, K. Hallett, D. Murray (2014). Methodology for Design and Economic Analysis of Marine Energy Conversion (MEC) Technologies, SAND2014-9040.

Power Conversion Chain Design

Mike J. Beam, Brian I. Kline, William Straka, Arnold A. Fontaine, Michael Lawson, Ye Li, Robert Thresher, Mirko Previsic (2012). Marine Hydrokinetic Turbine Power-Take-Off Design for Optimal Performance and Low Impact on Cost-of-Energy

Experimental

C. Hill, V. S. Neary, B. Gunawan, M. Guala, F. Sotiropoulos (2014). U.S. Department of Energy Reference Model Program RM1: Experimental Results. SAND2014-18783R.

Environmental

Refer to: V. Neary, M. Previsic, R. Jepsen, M. Lawson, Y. Yu, A. Copping, A. Fontaine, K. Hallett, D. Murray (2014). Methodology for Design and Economic Analysis of Marine Energy Conversion (MEC) Technologies

Cost & Economic

Mirko Previsic (2012). Reference Model 1 Cost Breakdown Structure for Tidal Current Device

3D CAD Geometry Files

(2014) RM1 SolidWorks Files. SAND2014-3092W.

Main Report

Refer to: V. Neary, M. Previsic, R. Jepsen, M. Lawson, Y. Yu, A. Copping, A. Fontaine, K. Hallett, D. Murray (2014). Methodology for Design and Economic Analysis of Marine Energy Conversion (MEC) Technologies

Reference Site Resource

V. Neary (2011). Reference Inflow Characterization for River Resource Reference Model: Reference Model 2 (RM2)

Performance

M. Barone, T. Griffith, J. Berg (2011). Reference Model 2: ‘Rev 0’ Rotor Design. SAND2011-9306.

Structural Analysis

Refer to: V. Neary, M. Previsic, R. Jepsen, M. Lawson, Y. Yu, A. Copping, A. Fontaine, K. Hallett, D. Murray (2014). Methodology for Design and Economic Analysis of Marine Energy Conversion (MEC) Technologies

Power Conversion Chain Design

Refer to: V. Neary, M. Previsic, R. Jepsen, M. Lawson, Y. Yu, A. Copping, A. Fontaine, K. Hallett, D. Murray (2014). Methodology for Design and Economic Analysis of Marine Energy Conversion (MEC) Technologies

Mooring Design

Refer to: V. Neary, M. Previsic, R. Jepsen, M. Lawson, Y. Yu, A. Copping, A. Fontaine, K. Hallett, D. Murray (2014). Methodology for Design and Economic Analysis of Marine Energy Conversion (MEC) Technologies

Experimental

Craig Hill, Vince Neary, Budi Gunawan, Michele Guala, Fotis Sotiropoulos (2014). U.S. Department of Energy Reference Model Program RM2: Experimental Results. SAND2014-16561R.

Environmental

Refer to: V. Neary, M. Previsic, R. Jepsen, M. Lawson, Y. Yu, A. Copping, A. Fontaine, K. Hallett, D. Murray (2014). Methodology for Design and Economic Analysis of Marine Energy Conversion (MEC) Technologies

Cost & Economic

Mirko Previsic (2012). Cost Breakdown Structure for River Current Device

3D CAD Geometry Files

(2014) RM2 SolidWorks Files.

Main Report

Refer to: V. Neary, M. Previsic, R. Jepsen, M. Lawson, Y. Yu, A. Copping, A. Fontaine, K. Hallett, D. Murray (2014). Methodology for Design and Economic Analysis of Marine Energy Conversion (MEC) Technologies

Reference Site Resource

J. Berg (2011). Extreme Ocean Wave Conditions for Northern California Wave Energy Conversion Device. SAND2011-9304.

M. Previsic, J. Berg (2010). Wave Energy Resource and Site Characterization

Performance

Refer to: V. Neary, M. Previsic, R. Jepsen, M. Lawson, Y. Yu, A. Copping, A. Fontaine, K. Hallett, D. Murray (2014). Methodology for Design and Economic Analysis of Marine Energy Conversion (MEC) Technologies

Structural Analysis

Refer to: V. Neary, M. Previsic, R. Jepsen, M. Lawson, Y. Yu, A. Copping, A. Fontaine, K. Hallett, D. Murray (2014). Methodology for Design and Economic Analysis of Marine Energy Conversion (MEC) Technologies

Power Conversion Chain Design

Refer to: V. Neary, M. Previsic, R. Jepsen, M. Lawson, Y. Yu, A. Copping, A. Fontaine, K. Hallett, D. Murray (2014). Methodology for Design and Economic Analysis of Marine Energy Conversion (MEC) Technologies

Mooring Design

Refer to: V. Neary, M. Previsic, R. Jepsen, M. Lawson, Y. Yu, A. Copping, A. Fontaine, K. Hallett, D. Murray (2014). Methodology for Design and Economic Analysis of Marine Energy Conversion (MEC) Technologies

Experimental

Y. -H. Yu, M. Lawson, Y. Li, M. Previsic, J. Epler, J. Lou (2015). Experimental Wave Tank Test for Reference Model 3 Floating Point Absorber Wave Energy Converter Project. NREL/TP-5000-62951. Golden, CO, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). January 2015.

M. Previsic, K. Shoele, J. Epler (2014). Validation of Theoretical Performance Results using Wave Tank Testing of Heaving Point Absorber Wave Energy Conversion Device working against a Subsea Reaction Plate

Y.-H. Yu, M. Lawson, K. Ruehl, and C. Michelen (2014). Development and Demonstration of the WEC-Sim Wave Energy Converter Simulation Tool.

K. Ruehl, C. Michelen, S. Kanner, M. Lawson, and Y.-H. Yu (2014). Preliminary Verification and Validation of WEC-Sim, an Open Source Wave Energy Converter Design Tool. SAND2014-2161.

Y.-H. Yu and Y. Li (2013). RANS Simulation of the Heave Performance of a Two-Body Floating-Point Absorber Wave Energy System.

Environmental

Refer to: V. Neary, M. Previsic, R. Jepsen, M. Lawson, Y. Yu, A. Copping, A. Fontaine, K. Hallett, D. Murray (2014). Methodology for Design and Economic Analysis of Marine Energy Conversion (MEC) Technologies

Cost & Economic

Mirko Previsic (2012). Cost Breakdown Structure for WEC Rated at 286 kW

3D CAD Geometry Files

(2014) RM3 SolidWorks Files.

Main Report

Refer to: V. Neary, M. Previsic, R. Jepsen, M. Lawson, Y. Yu, A. Copping, A. Fontaine, K. Hallett, D. Murray (2014). Methodology for Design and Economic Analysis of Marine Energy Conversion (MEC) Technologies

Reference Site Resource

M. Previsic, J. Berg (2010). Wave Energy Resource and Site Characterization

Performance

Refer to: V. Neary, M. Previsic, R. Jepsen, M. Lawson, Y. Yu, A. Copping, A. Fontaine, K. Hallett, D. Murray (2014). Methodology for Design and Economic Analysis of Marine Energy Conversion (MEC) Technologies

Structural Analysis

Refer to: V. Neary, M. Previsic, R. Jepsen, M. Lawson, Y. Yu, A. Copping, A. Fontaine, K. Hallett, D. Murray (2014). Methodology for Design and Economic Analysis of Marine Energy Conversion (MEC) Technologies

Power Conversion Chain Design

Refer to: V. Neary, M. Previsic, R. Jepsen, M. Lawson, Y. Yu, A. Copping, A. Fontaine, K. Hallett, D. Murray (2014). Methodology for Design and Economic Analysis of Marine Energy Conversion (MEC) Technologies

Mooring Design

Refer to: V. Neary, M. Previsic, R. Jepsen, M. Lawson, Y. Yu, A. Copping, A. Fontaine, K. Hallett, D. Murray (2014). Methodology for Design and Economic Analysis of Marine Energy Conversion (MEC) Technologies

Experimental

Refer to: V. Neary, M. Previsic, R. Jepsen, M. Lawson, Y. Yu, A. Copping, A. Fontaine, K. Hallett, D. Murray (2014). Methodology for Design and Economic Analysis of Marine Energy Conversion (MEC) Technologies

Environmental

Refer to: V. Neary, M. Previsic, R. Jepsen, M. Lawson, Y. Yu, A. Copping, A. Fontaine, K. Hallett, D. Murray (2014). Methodology for Design and Economic Analysis of Marine Energy Conversion (MEC) Technologies

Cost & Economic

Mirko Previsic (2012). Cost Breakdown Structure for Ocean Current Device

3D CAD Geometry Files

(2014) RM4 SolidWorks Files.

Main Report

Yu et al. (2015). Reference Model 5: Oscillating Surge Wave Energy Converter. NREL/TP-5000-62861. Golden, CO, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). January 2015.

Reference Site Resource

A. Dallman, V. Neary (2014). Characterization of U.S. Wave Energy Converter (WEC) Test Sites: A Catalogue of Met-Ocean Data. SAND214-18206.

Performance

Refer to: Yu et al. (2015). Reference Model 5: Oscillating Surge Wave Energy Converter. NREL/TP-5000-62861. Golden, CO, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). January 2015.

Y.-H. Yu, M. Lawson, K. Ruehl, and C. Michelen (2014). Development and Demonstration of the WEC-Sim Wave Energy Converter Simulation Tool.

Y. Yu, Y. Li, K. Hallett, and C. Hotimsky (2014). Design and Analysis for a Floating Oscillating Surge Wave Energy Converter.

Structural Analysis

Refer to: Yu et al. (2015). Reference Model 5: Oscillating Surge Wave Energy Converter. NREL/TP-5000-62861. Golden, CO, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). January 2015.

Power Conversion Chain Design

Yu et al. (2015). Reference Model 5: Oscillating Surge Wave Energy Converter. NREL/TP-5000-62861. Golden, CO, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). January 2015.

Mooring Design

Yu et al. (2015). Reference Model 5: Oscillating Surge Wave Energy Converter. NREL/TP-5000-62861. Golden, CO, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). January 2015.

Experimental

Yu et al. (2015). Reference Model 5: Oscillating Surge Wave Energy Converter. NREL/TP-5000-62861. Golden, CO, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). January 2015.

Environmental

A.E. Copping, S. H. Geerlofs, L A. Hanna (2014). The Contribution of Environmental Siting and Permitting Requirements to the Cost of Energy for Wave Energy Devices- Reference Model #5

Cost & Economic

Jenne, S. (2014). RM5 Component Cost and LCOE Calculations Spreadsheet

3D CAD Geometry Files

S. Jenne (2014). RM5 SolidWorks Files.

Main Report

Bull, D., Smith, C., Jenne, D. S., Jacob, P., Copping, A., Willits, S., Fontaine, A., Brefort, D., Copeland, G., Gordon, M., Jepsen, R. (2014). Reference Model 6 (RM6): Oscillating Wave Energy Converter. SAND2011-18311.

Reference Site Resource

J. Berg (2011). Extreme Ocean Wave Conditions for Northern California Wave Energy Conversion Device. SAND2011-9304.

M. Previsic, J. Berg (2010). Wave Energy Resource and Site Characterization

Performance

Refer to: Bull, D., Smith, C., Jenne, D. S., Jacob, P., Copping, A., Willits, S., Fontaine, A., Brefort, D., Copeland, G., Gordon, M., Jepsen, R. (2014). Reference Model 6 (RM6): Oscillating Wave Energy Converter

Structural Analysis

Copeland, G., Bull, D., Jepsen, R., Gordon, M. (2014). Oscillating Water Column Structural Model

Absorbed Power

D. Bull (2014). Pneumatic Performance of a Non-Axisymmetric Floating Oscillating Water Column Wave Energy Conversion Device in Random Waves

D. Bull, E. Johnson (2013). Optimal Resistive Control Strategy for a Floating OWC Device. Sand2013-6198C.

Power Conversion Chain Design

C. Smith, D. Bull, S. Willits, A. Fontaine (2014). Optimization and Annual Average Power Predictions of a Backward Bent Duct Buoy Oscillating Water Column Device Using the Wells Turbine

Smith, C., Willits, S., Fontaine, A., Bull, D. (2014). Optimization and Annual Average Power Predictions of a Backward Bent Duct Buoy Oscillating Water Column Device Using the Wells Turbine. SAND2014-16896R.

Mooring Design

D. Bull, P. Jacob (2012). Methodology for creating nonaxisymmetric WECs to screen mooring designs using a Morison Equation approach. SAND2013-7270C.

D. Brefort, D. Bull (2013). Mooring Design for the Floating Oscillating Water Column Reference Model. SAND2014-17817.

Experimental

D. Bull, B. Gunawan, B. Holmes (2014). Experimental Confirmation of Water Column Natural Resonance Migration in a BBDB Device. SAND2014-17816.

Environmental

A.E. Copping, S.H. Geerlofs, L.A. Hanna (2013). The Contribution of Environmental Siting and Permitting Requirements to the Cost of Energy for Oscillating Water Column Wave Energy Devices- Reference Model #6

Cost & Economic

Jenne, S. (2014). Cost Breakdown Structure for RM6 Based off of RM3 Layout

3D CAD Geometry Files

ReVision Consulting (2014). Detailed Structural Design

Sandia National Laboratories (2014). Simplified Structural Design (SNL)

Testing of Sandia's Backward Bent Duct Buoy (RM6) was used to estimate the levelized cost of energy for oscillating water columns.

Testing of Sandia’s Backward Bent Duct Buoy was used to estimate the levelized cost of energy for oscillating water columns.