Photo: SeaRAY ready for transport to San Diego, ahead of loading to Hawaii-bound ship (Courtesy of C-Power)

SeaRAY autonomous offshore power system set for final journey to Hawaii

US-based marine energy company C-Power has prepared its SeaRAY autonomous offshore power system (AOPS) for shipping to Hawaii, where it will undergo a demonstration at US Navy’s wave energy test site.

SeaRAY ready for transportation to San Diego, ahead of loading to Hawaii-bound ship (Courtesy of C-Power)
SeaRAY ready for transport to San Diego, ahead of loading to Hawaii-bound ship (Courtesy of C-Power)

C-Power’s 2kW SeaRAY AOPS is currently en route from Oregon to San Diego, where it will be loaded into the Hawaii-bound ship for its final destination at US Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site (WETS).

Once in Hawaii, SeaRAY AOPS will be dropped in the water at the Navy’s docks to undergo a few system checks and tests, after which it will be loaded onto a vessel and deployed at WETS, C-Power confirmed on social media.

“The strength of the SeaRAY design is the unique capability to ‘containerize’ it into a compact package when shipping by land or sea. This cuts down the cost and complexity of deploying the systems,” C-Power said.

Beforehand, the ‘heart and brains’ of the 2kW SeaRAY AOPS left the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) facility in Colorado to be transported together with the remaining parts of the system, including the wave motion-capturing floats, from Oregon.

The ‘heart and brains’ of SeaRAY AOPS actually stand NREL’s novel field data collection and control system, called Modular Ocean Data Acquisition (MODAQ).

Originally designed to standardize and increase the quality and breadth of field data collection, the first MODAQ could do basic data acquisition and condition monitoring (meaning that it kept track of how a wave energy device performed).

SeaRAY’s fortified MODAQ is yet another acronym: a supervisory control and data acquisition, or SCADA, system. Now, the tool not only collects field data, but it also sends information to the cloud and connects to the web so customers can watch a live SeaRAY performance, receive data on how a device is functioning, or even control those functions from a desk halfway around the world, according to NREL.

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In Hawaii, project partners, including Saab, one of the world-leading companies in electric underwater robotics, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and BioSonics, will pair the SeaRAY AOPS with their electronics, which collect data on methane and carbon levels, fish activity, and more.

The demonstration will also feature Verlume’s first commercial Halo battery system, which represents a scalable storage solution and ‘gateway’ for renewable energy to high-value assets able to provide a reliable, uninterrupted power supply predominantly for use in the harsh subsea environment.

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