Tidal, wave partners sought for Navy’s MHK initiative

Illustration (Photo: NNMREC)
Illustration (Photo: NNMREC)

University of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory (APL-UW) and the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC) are seeking partners interested in producing wave or current energy converters and associated component technologies that could be tested in laboratory or field facilities.

The overall goal is to identify and advance marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) technologies that are viable for use at naval facilities.

APL-UW and NNMREC are focusing specifically on current devices, both axial- and cross-flow, and wave energy conversion, via heave plate point absorbers.

These technologies should be available, or have the ability to become readily available, as commercial products or services.

Systems and components will be integrated, as necessary and possible, with existing prototype converters and test facilities to maximize the value from evaluation. Performance of the technology will be evaluated during experimental trials and the utility of component technologies will be demonstrated to the US Navy.

Collaborative projects will provide opportunities for system integration, with laboratory and field test beds, optimization, and demonstration.

For collaborative projects, funding may cover labor, equipment, supplies, and fabrication, delivery, and travel costs. Access to test infrastructure will be provided at no cost, according to a request for information (RFI) issued by NNMREC.

The selected partners will have the opportunity for real-world validation and demonstration through field tests in Puget Sound, Washington, for which the appropriate permits will be obtained by the University of Washington.

Full-scale MHK systems requiring dedicated mooring systems, contact with the seabed, or power output greater than 10 kW are outside the scope of this program, the RFI notice states.

Responses to this RFI will be used to determine the interest and eligibility in responding to a request for proposal (RFP) or request for quote (RFQ). They will be evaluated for a subsequent RFP or RFQ.

From the RFP or RFQ, 3-4 awards up to $150,000 are anticipated, without cost-sharing required from the industry partners.

Projects will run from summer of 2016 to summer of 2017.

The deadline for RFI submissions is due on April 29, 2016, with the date RFP or RFQ sent to selected RFI responders set for May 31, 2016.

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