OPT scores ONR contract

Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) has secured a contract with US Department of Defense Office of Naval Research (ONR) to design a new mass-spring oscillating PowerBuoy for mission critical sensors.

Phase one of the $250,000 contract includes the system design and laboratory testing of a proprietary, self-contained, inertia-based, mass-spring oscillator and power take-off (PTO), and for the selection of a station keeping propulsion solution to be integrated into the PowerBuoy.

Mike Mekhiche, OPT’s Executive Vice President of Engineering and Operations, added: “This PTO is part of an anchorless, station keeping, low profile PowerBuoy that would power mission critical sensors and the buoy’s control and propulsion systems.

“The objective of this first phase is to design and optimize the inertia based generation system, evaluate the buoy propulsion system, and carry out performance testing of critical PTO components. The proposed system is scalable and once completed, could expand OPT’s product portfolio with more product options into the commercial and defense markets.”

The expected duration of this first phase of the ONR contract is nine months, the New Jersey-based wave energy developer said.

In addition, the contract allows for two subsequent phases, valued together at nearly $750,000, which are dependent upon the successful completion of phase one and additional ONR funding, OPT informed.

This future scope would include the detailed design of the entire power conversion system, power generation system, and the PowerBuoy hull, as well as testing of the mass-spring oscillating PTO, and the build and integration of a full PowerBuoy system that is ready for ocean deployment.