BOLT Lifesaver runs over 50 days at 100% uptime

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Norwegian company Fred. Olsen has informed its BOLT Lifesaver wave energy device passed 50 days of non-stop power production since the installation in October 2018.

The 1 tone on-board client sensor package has been able to draw its nominal power during 76% of the time, allowing the client over 900 hours of full operation of their equipment solely on wave generated power, according to Fred. Olsen.

To remind, BOLT Lifesaver has been fully upgraded earlier in the year to accommodate an oceanographic sensor package, developed by the Pacific Marine Energy Center, to demonstrate the wave energy converter’s ability to directly power external systems during the planned six-month deployment off the coast of Hawaii.

Client sensor package onboard BOLT Lifesaver (Photo: University of Hawaii)

Commenting on the milestone, achieved early in December 2018, project developers said: “Similar utilization has only ever been achieved with cabled connection to shore, and this illustrates the strength of Fred. Olsen wave energy converters for offshore power.”

The point absorber wave energy device, installed at the 30-meter deep birth of the US Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site (WETS), is part of the collaborative initiative funded by the US Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC).

The project brings together Applied Research Lab at University of Hawaii, Applied Physics Lab at University of Washington, offshore operations company Sea Engineering, and technology owner Fred. Olsen.

Fred. Olsen’s point absorber wave energy device has already undergone a one-year demonstration at WETS, before the retrieval in the summer of 2017 to Pearl Harbor for refurbishment.

The device uses three power take-off units that convert the motion of the passing waves to electrical power using rotary electrical generators. Control and health-monitoring of these on-board systems are housed in the control center. The wave e is not connected to shore, and the power generated is stored in a battery bank.

This phase of Lifesaver testing has two primary aims – to improve device reliability and power performance, through alterations to the device mooring strategy, and to demonstrate an alternative means of powering oceanographic instrumentation without using utility-supplied electrical grid power or single-use batteries.

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