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First Wave Energy Device Connected to Power Grid

PowerBuoy (Ocean Power Technologies)

(Ocean Power Technologies)

Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) in Pennington, New Jersey, says it has completed the first-ever grid connection of a wave energy device in the United States at Marine Corps Base Hawaii on Oahu. The grid connection uses OPT’s PowerBuoy systems to produce what the company calls utility-grade, renewable energy that can be delivered compliant with national and international standards.

The PowerBuoy (pictured right) is part of OPT’s program with the U.S. Navy to develop and test the company’s wave energy technology. The project began as a Small Business Innovation Research program at the Office of Naval Research. That program called for demonstrating system reliability and survivability, and successfully connecting with the electrical power grid serving the Marine Corps base.

The PowerBuoy was first deployed on 14 December 2009 about three-quarters of a mile off the coast of Oahu in water depth of 100 feet. The PowerBuoy has so far operated and produced energy from over 3 million power take-off cycles and 4,400 hours of operation. The PowerBuoy’s grid connection was certified in 2007 by an independent laboratory, Intertek Testing Services, as compliant with national and international standards, including safety standards.

The wave power project in Hawaii underwent an extensive environmental assessment by an independent environmental firm in accordance with the National Environment Policy Act that resulted in a Finding of No Significant Impact, which the company says is the highest rating assigned.

Hat tip: Treehugger

6 comments to First Wave Energy Device Connected to Power Grid

  • cosma vasile

    Did you know that Romania has a technical solution with the highest efficiency to capture wave power??.
    Patent RO 108893 entitled Dynamic Engine for sea wave energy catching. a pioneering invention. It is estimated that “dynamic engine” has the ability to catching wave energy at a rate of over 80% while the other technical solutions known worldwide, are not able to capture wave energy with a higher percentage of about 10-15%. E-mail cosma.vasile @
    Cosma Vasile Romania

  • cosma vasile

    Invention Offer
    Engine for handling electricity generators, as a component of hydroelectric power plants for exploating the energy of the sea waves.

    The offer relates to an engine for handling electricity generators, as a component of hydroelectric power plants for exploating the energy of the sea waves. A pioneer invention, which due to the high degree of technology involved, can revolutionize this industry branch, because it allows the building of hydroelectric power plants, to produce energy with the help of sea waves. This will be done with a high economic efficiency, comparable with the efficiency of hydroelectric power plants placed on rivers.
    Due to some research, I, Vasile Cosma, as a Romanian inventor, have patented a new type of engine for handling the electric generators for hydroelectric power plants, meant to exploit the energy of the sea waves: with a dynamic structure based on the elastic power of air with spring effect, with an extremely high efficiency compared to the efficiency of already internationally known engines present in this branch. I am searching for interested industrial parteners, research institutions and sea construction companies to evaluate this invention.
    The solution “Dynamic engine” constitutes a construction in form of a robot supported on land, which is structured on three systems: a system of balance, a stabilization and dynamic preservation and a dynamic engine system. The engine is driven by an hydropneumatic accumulator, which has a hidrodynamic shape, cca. 50 m long and 12 m wide.
    Compared to other known engine types within this branch, this engine shows two essential advantages. The first is based on the fact that it has a simplified operation system, which relies on the direct transformation of wave energy in mechanical energy to drive the electricity generators. The second advantage is represented by the fact that the loss of energy is extremely reduced in the intake process, as well as in the transformation process of wave energy in mechanical energy. I want to underline that a first evaluation was made by the Invention Examination Comitee with the following conclusion: “This construction allows raising the efficiency, viability and engine adaptability to the wave parameters.”
    Tehnological benefits:
    • A simple and relatively cheap construction, in form of a dynamic steel pipe structure, which does not raise special technical issues.
    • It can be used for high capacity hydroelectric power plants, with a high number of engines (aprox. 100-200 units) endowed with a high capacity of suplying as much energy as a nuclear power plant but having a much cheaper price.
    • The type of supporting the engines and the hydroelectric power plant is “on land”, meaning on several kilometer long bridges (5-10 km) with a width of aprox. 50 m and a hight of aprox. 5 m in relation to the sea level. They are supported on a metallic steel pipe structure- fixed on shore (there where the waves are energetically exploitable and the water depth is over ½ of the step between the waves, so over 12 m), or on the sea bed, close to the shore, eighter on floating platforms placed on high seas. The ones placed on shore can be used as a protection against erosion.
    Technical state of art:
    Extensive research regarding wave energy exploitation are being done in many countries around the world. Based on the optimistic opinion of some specialists, the wave enregy could be the “the 20th century oil”. Theoretical calculations show that 10 km of waves could provide as much energy as a nuclear power plant. World wide, in the field of sea wave energy expoitation, a variety of technical solutions are known, all of them with a submersible placing modality and a complicated functioning principle, based eighter on the transformation of sea wave energy trough some high capacity pumps, either in hydraulic or pneumatic energy. Using a set of pipes this energy is being transfered to engines which handle electricity generators in form of hydraulic or pneumatic turbines.
    Disadvantage of existent technology:
    The disadvantage of the solutions from technical state of art is represented by the fact that this can have only a low degree of efficiency, because of the energy losses in the intake process of wave energy, as well as in the transformation of this hydraulic or pneumatic energy in mechanical energy, so that electric generators can be handled.
    Also, hydraulic solutions show another disadvantage: that it needs an increased number of high capacity pumps, joints and submersible pipings.
    The prototype of this invention has not been designed, realized or tested due to the lack of financial means.
    Organisations/companies which could develop this invention:
    – Research and sea construction designing or hydrotechnical institutions.
    – Sea construction or hydrotechnical companies which are in this specialized branch and aggregate activity.
    Company dimensions:
    Companies with 50-250 employees, big enough for developing and testing the prototype invention.
    Application domain:
    The prototype can be used exclusively in scientific purposes, as a measuring or logging device, for high precision measuring in order to supply answers for many questions, for example: can wave energy be considered as a hope for the future? What is the efficiency that can be obtained? What is the economical efficiency? And so on.
    Colaboration details – wanted partnership type:
    • Research and sea construction designing or hydrotechnical institutions for elaborating a complete project on the basis of the invention description, which shuld contain a feasibility study, the designing of the prototype, including the support, establishing the placement and the way of placing the device as well as its testing.
    • Research and sea construction designing or hydrotechnical companies for the developing of the construction according to the project
    • Investors for financing the project elaboration, for the realisation of the prototype and testing the performance level in order to evaluate it
    Because the suggested project happens on a large scale, it is necesarry that the partnership between investors, research and designing institutions and, construction and hydrotechnical companies is closely connected.
    – Invention. Brevet 108893 entitled Dynamic Engine for Sea Wave Energy Catching
    Contact e-mail

  • cosma vasile

    For accurate information please visit: Brevet RO no. 108893. MOTOR DYNAMIC FOR WAVE CATCHING

  • […] First Wave Energy Device Connected to Power Grid. 28 September […]

  • Cosma Vasile

    Some information for patent “Dynamic Engine” can be found on:
    Ocean energy: Wave energy | Climate TechWiki
    Summary and drawing is on page 28. [PDF] BOPI no. 9/1994 – OSIM

  • Thanks Cosma for the additional details. – AK