Results released in testing of PowerBuoy wave energy unit

PENNINGTON, N.J. 2/3/12 (PennWell) -- Wave energy technology company Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. announces the results of tests it performed with its PowerBuoy system for the U.S. Navy.

The tests, performed off the New Jersey coast for the Navy's Littoral Expeditionary Autonomous PowerBuoy (LEAP) program, showed the PowerBuoy is capable of providing consistent power for offshore equipment and devices in a wide range of sea conditions.

Specifications of the project called for a payload power delivery on a continuous basis of 150 W, OPT says, though the actual output was significantly higher than expected. OPT's units supplied power in excess of 400 W for the duration of the deployment and produced peak sustained electrical power of 1,500 W, according to a release. An on-board power management and storage system allowed the payload to be supplied with power during extended periods of zero wave activity.

The PowerBuoy was moored at a depth of about 37 meters and was in the direct path of Hurricane Irene, which hit the New Jersey coast Aug. 27, 2011. The unit withstood waves of more than 16 meters and continued to operate unharmed, according to the release.

Currently, OPT says, systems requiring remote power at sea are often powered by diesel generators. The LEAP program was devised to help minimize the Navy's maintenance and fuel replenishment costs.

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