OPT deploys commercial PB3 wave energy device

Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) has deployed its wave energy device designed for commercial use four miles off the coast of New Jersey.

The commercial PB3 device incorporates multiple enhancements over early prototypes, OPT said.

This includes a redesigned power take-off, a high-capacity, modular energy storage system providing flexibility through expanded battery capacity, a higher voltage and efficient power management and distribution system, and a new auto-ballasting system which OPT believes allows for faster and less costly deployment.

OPT now has two wave energy devices in the water, with the first PB3 buoy deployed off New Jersey late in June this year.

George Kirby, President and Chief Executive Officer of OPT, said: “This deployment of our PB3 represents what we expect will be the final validation step prior to release of the product to our target customers and markets. We believe that our commercial PB3 PowerBuoy will position us to competitively address applications in our target markets such as ocean observing, oil and gas, security and defense, and communications.”

Mike Mekhiche, OPT’s Vice President of Engineering, added: “We expect that our new auto-ballasting system could reduce the cost, improve safety, and simplify logistics of deployments. We believe that all of these improvements will help to solidify our value proposition to potential customers.

“Furthermore, we are delighted to have two PB3 PowerBuoys operating simultaneously. The data stream from the two PowerBuoys, combined with our previously announced and on-going accelerated life testing, will allow us to share a variety of performance information with current and prospective partners and customers.”

The US-based wave energy developer has also said it expects that this deployment will be the final validation of the PB3 prior to the anticipated March 2017 six-month lease of the PB3 PowerBuoy to Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding which is planned for deployment off Kozu island, Japan.