DOE announces funding opportunity for wave energy technology research

Department of Energy

A new funding opportunity from the U.S. Department of Energy could help finance marine power technology and component development with as much as US$13 million in funding awards.

DOE said it will make up to 10 awards for use in "developing advanced controls, power systems, and device structures specifically for marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) applications, which harness energy from waves, tides, or currents."

A release said the department "intends to support projects that increase the power-to-weight ratio of MHK devices or improve system reliability" by investing in the following component technologies:

  • Advanced Controls (up to six awards; $500,000 - $2 million each): Selected projects will develop advanced control systems, including software or hardware, and perform numerical modeling or testing to assess performance improvements. These types of controls offer opportunities to optimize energy capture and system load, which can increase output and system reliability.
  • Next-Generation Power Take-Offs (up to two awards; $3 million each): Through the development of lighter, more compact and more efficient "power take-offs" (PTOs)—the MHK sub-system that includes the hardware needed to convert mechanical motion into electrical power—the selected projects will increase system and component reliability and modularity to make PTOs longer-lasting and easier to repair.
  • Optimized Structures (up to two awards; $1 million each): Selected projects will develop and test an advanced device structure that minimizes the loads transmitted to other components and increases the device's ability to withstand extreme conditions.

Applicants are asked to submit their letters of intent by May 13, 2013. More information can be found on DOE's Water Power Program webpage here.

America's wave energy potential could account for as much as 1,420 TWh annual, or about a third of the United States' total yearly power usage, according to DOE.

HydroWorld.com previously reported that another DOE program will see investments of up to $1.9 million to hydrokinetic environmental effects studies and monitoring.

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