Sandia’s Water Power Technologies program develops innovative technological solutions for marine hydrokinetic (MHK) devices. Before MHK technologies can successfully compete in the energy market, developers must increase device power performance and reliability, thereby reducing the levelized cost of energy. Through applied research and modeling efforts, we provide industry with tools to create better devices. Our contributions include:
WEC-Sim enables users to model the responses of a variety of devices including the oscillating surge wave energy converter modeled in this image.
Sandia’s open-source computational tools provide developers with cost-effective, efficient methods of comparing the power production, reliability and survivability of MHK devices. Accurate predictive design tools allow developers to minimize cost by reducing uncertainty that results in overly-conservative design and safety margins. Similarly, computational tools for simulating MHK device arrays allow multiple configurations to be evaluated for power performance, shadowing effects, and impacts to the surrounding marine environment without the need for costly deployments or tank tests.
Composite Fabrication and Performance Testing
To make MHK technologies commercially viable, developers must improve devices’ power performance and reliability. Our high-risk, high-impact research and development efforts provide innovative solutions to technical boundaries preventing commercialization. Our research and design efforts include:
- Developing advanced materials such as novel coatings and composites.
- Defining and validating control strategies for wave energy converters (WECs) to improve power performance.
- Creating open-source reference models of MHK devices. These models provide industry with techno-economic benchmarks and methodologies for evaluating a variety of devices.
Pacific Marine Renewable Energy Center North Energy Test Site
Sandia works with government agencies and industry to establish a MHK testing infrastructure capable of meeting all industry needs in the U.S. We offer expertise in site selection, permit consultation, and preliminary design, operation and maintenance reviews. By reducing financial and technical risks for developers, we help advance MHK technology towards successful commercialization.
In-water demonstrations of wave energy conversion (WEC) devices are necessary for gathering baseline performance data, gaining operational experience, and identifying key cost drivers of leading device designs. Sandia’s demonstration activities focus on fully maturing the technical readiness of state-of-the-art technologies.
U.S. Navy’s Maneuvering and Seakeeping Basin (MASK) (Photo provided by NSWC Carderock Division/Released)
Members of Sandia’s Water Power Technology program serve as judges and advisers for DOE’s Wave Energy Prize competition. By giving participants an opportunity to engage in tank testing of scaled WEC devices, this competition will mobilize new and existing developers and provide valuable data about WEC designs.
Contact: Tim Crawford: firstname.lastname@example.org