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Energy Department names ocean energy R&D partnerships

The Department of Energy announced it plans to establish research, testing, and product development partnerships with developers of two ocean energy technologies, Verdant Power and Resolute Marine Power.

DOE's Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program selected the companies based on proposals for Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) partnerships. (HNN 11/5/07) CRADA partnerships are expected to leverage industry experience and needs with the technology R&D expertise of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories.

Verdant Power

NREL and Sandia are to work with Verdant Power, of New York, through one-year agreements, to develop a new composite-based rotor design. Work under CRADA will complement other work to be conducted under a two-year award granted in Topic Area 1 of DOE's Advanced Water Power Projects program. (HNN 9/18/08)

Under the CRADA agreements announced in December, NREL will contribute $300,000 of resources and Sandia will contribute $150,000 of resources. Verdant Power is to contribute a similar share of in-kind resources.

The partners expect to produce refined rotor designs for handling high current flows, and rotors with larger diameters. The work will be used to help develop tools and methodologies, including hydrodynamic modeling and load calculation methods that can be applied directly to Verdant's rotor design, DOE said.

The improved structure developed under the NREL and Sandia agreements will optimize cost, durability, and longevity of blades and rotors to meet commercial cost of energy objectives. Strength and fatigue testing, and full or near full-scale hydrodynamic testing are planned following design work.

Resolute Marine Power

NREL will work with Resolute Marine Power to establish a CRADA partnership, beginning in the first quarter of 2009, DOE said. The agreement still is being negotiated but DOE said it is expected to enable the partners to develop methods for evaluating wave energy concepts and classify their effectiveness in terms of cost and energy.

DOE said it would contribute $50,000 to the partnership. Resolute Marine Power, of Watertown, Mass., is expected to make a similar contribution, the government said.

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