Eco Innovator November 2011


Lockheed Martin Supports Ocean Power Technologies

Ocean Power Technologies will collaborate with Lockheed Martin on its proposed commercial-scale wave power generation project at Reedsport, Oregon.

Lockheed Martin will provide design, manufacturing, system integration and supply chain management expertise to enhance OPT's PowerBuoy technology. OPT said this builds on previous work conducted by Lockheed Martin and OPT.

The collaboration follows a US$2.4 million contract awarded by the US Department of Energy to OPT as part of initiatives announced in September 2010 to promote the development of renewable marine energy.

Construction of the Oregon PB150 PowerBuoy's steel structure has been completed, and testing of the advanced power take-off and control system is in process at OPT's production facility in a test environment simulating the varying wave conditions off the Oregon coast.

Assembly, systems integration, and land testing of the PowerBuoy is planned to occur over the next several months. It is intended to be the first of a proposed 10-buoy wave power station with a peak generating capacity of 1.5 MW, equivalent to the power needs of about 1,500 homes.

"OPT's engineering and innovation efforts for the utility market are focused on improving power conversion efficiency, reliability, manufacturability and lowering the costs of marine operations and maintenance," said Charles F. Dunleavy, chief executive officer of OPT.

"We will be rolling out the PB150 PowerBuoy product, our latest utility market offering, over the next few years and will also leverage this experience for the next generation of the PowerBuoy, our 500 kW device that is currently under development.

"With the Department of Energy's continued support and Lockheed Martin's expertise, the commercialization of our technologies to harness wave power continues to make steady progress," said Mr Dunleavy.

In another development, Ocean Power Technologies is working with a consortium of European companies and institutions on a technology initiative to enhance the efficiency of its patented PowerBuoy wave energy systems.

Under its "WavePort" project, the new wave prediction model will assess the characteristics of each incoming wave before it reaches the PowerBuoy wave power station, providing more time for the electronic tuning capability to react. It is expected this will significantly boost the power output of the PowerBuoy and reduce cost per megawatt hour of energy produced, said the company.

Ocean Power Technologies has a 2.2 million grant under the WavePort project from the European Union's Seventh Framework Program for research and innovation.






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