Oscilla Power’s 1:6 prototype deployed offshore Maine (Courtesy of Oscilla Power)

Oscilla Power launches scaled Triton wave energy device offshore Maine

Oscilla Power and its university partners have deployed a 1:6 scale prototype of 1MW Triton wave energy converter offshore the east coast of the United States.

Oscilla Power’s 1:6 prototype deployed offshore Maine (Courtesy of Oscilla Power)

The focus of the test Oscilla Power is conducting with the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures & Composites Center (ASCC) and the Maine Maritime Academy is to determine load capacity and survivability of full-scale device in actual ocean environment

According to the Seattle-based company, the tests will help inform the ongoing engineering design of its 1MW Triton wave energy converter in 2024.

Due to the unique wave conditions at the deployment site in Castine Harbor, the 1:6 scaled unit will operate in the same manner as a full-scale unit during the 12-week test. Winter wave conditions in Castine are approximately 1:6 the size of waves experienced on the U.S. west coast, and therefore provide an ideal representative ocean environment to test and evaluate the scaled Triton system.

A key goal of this testing is to be able demonstrate the ability of the device to survive extreme weather events through the use of a submerging ability which is expected to enable the Triton to withstand even the harshest wave events.

The testing will also be used to enable Oscilla Power to accurately predict the power that the full-scale system will generate in different wave conditions.

Tim Mundon, chief technology officer for Oscilla Power, said: “While we have excellent design and computer-driven simulations, there is no substitute for running the unit through its paces in a real operating environment. Thanks to the partnership with Maine Maritime Academy and the University of Maine, we’re able to complete this testing to validate our assumptions and numerical models to ensure our commercial production unit will perform as designed. This is a critical milestone in the design.”

Building on nearly three decades of research and development, the ASCC was charged with the structural design and construction of a submerged concrete ring that serves as a heave plate for the device, as well as providing support for permitting, deployment, monitoring, and decommissioning for the project. This is the fourth technology that has been demonstrated and studied by the ASCC in the Castine location.

“We are pleased to support Oscilla Power by designing and fabricating the wave energy converter’s hull at UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center. This deployment marks an important step in helping develop local clean energy sources and local jobs,” said Anthony Viselli, assistant director for ocean energy and engineering at the ASCC.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) through its Water Power Technologies Office has been a strong supporter of Oscilla Power as well as the overall wave power industry. DOE officials were onsite for the launch.

Jennifer Garson, director of U.S. DOE’s Water Power Technologies Office, said: “Marine energy technologies have tremendous promise to provide clean, reliable power to remote and coastal communities as well as for offshore work. It is exciting to see Oscilla Power test the scaled prototype of its Triton wave energy converter in real world conditions and take an important step toward realizing the potential of marine energy.”

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