University of Rhode Island accepted into TEAMER program
The University of Rhode Island (URI) has been accepted into the U.S. Department of Energy’s Testing Expertise and Access for Marine Energy Research (TEAMER) program.
TEAMER funding allows technology developers to conduct tests at URI’s Ocean Engineering Department facilities including its wave tank, wave-current flume, and acoustic tank.
In addition to increasing collaborative R&D projects with experts and faculty members, URI students will be able to work directly with technology developers and gain experience that can be applied when they are ready to join the marine energy workforce.
Clients who choose to use the facilities will not be charged as TEAMER reimburses URI’s fees directly.
The wave tank is 30 meters long, 3.6 meters wide and 1.8 meters deep with a hinged, flapper-style hydraulic wave maker at the end. It has 20 meters of adjustable beach for different shoaling profiles and a 2 m/s towing carriage.
It is used for a range of testing, including work on wave energy extraction, turbines (using towing carriage), acoustic measurement of surface waves, and wave-induced forcing on marine structures.
The LabVIEW and MATLAB-based control system are capable of producing both regular and irregular waves in a wide array of wave heights and periods. Wave gauges, pressure sensors, and force transducers are available to use.
The Marine Renewable Energy Collaborative of New England (MRECo) has announced its support to URI for the recent acceptance.
MRECo’s Bourne Tidal Test Site (BTTS), located at the southern end of the Cape Cod Canal, has also been recommended for TEAMER acceptance, pending National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review.
Once the review is completed, BTTS will provide an open water, close-to-shore, prototype testing facility for tidal and current energy devices and many types of marine sensors and underwater communication devices.
The BTTS is expected to provide clients with the infrastructure and support needed for Technology Readiness Level (TRL) gated development for mid-scale prototype testing in a relevant open water environment.
John Miller, executive director of MRECo, said: “The intellectual capital represented by the universities in New England provided much of the technology that powers today’s solar and wind generation. This infrastructure in New England coupled with TEAMER funding for testing will provide the same acceleration to marine renewables.”
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