OPT grabs US wave energy patent

Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) has received a new US patent for a method of controlling wave power generation equipment to optimize energy harvesting in low to moderate sea states.

OPT's PowerBuoy (Photo: OPT)

The newly issued patent involves techniques for allowing the PowerBuoy to remain in a sleep mode, then activate very quickly to harvest wave energy, and then return to a sleep mode if wave conditions are not optimal for continued power generation, according to US-based developer OPT.

The patent represents an upgrade over earlier control system designs and also an improvement in power management, OPT said.

George H. Kirby, President and Chief Executive Officer of OPT, said: “With this patent we have increased the ability to generate net positive power in very low sea states that can significantly extend the run time available from internal reserve battery power.

“This new patent allows the PowerBuoy to be deployed into areas with lower wave activity and to achieve the design target of two weeks of continuous power generation with no waves.

“We believe that combining this breakthrough technology with existing patented inventions provides a basis for advanced control system capabilities that can further the efficiency of wave generation and expand the potential for wave energy capture throughout more global locations.”

The newly issued patent increases OPT’s US issued patent portfolio to 65 patents, with 50 active US patents, the company said.

Outside of the US, OPT has been issued 200 patents across 13 countries with 33 of the active US patents having at least one corresponding issued foreign patent, according to OPT.