US DOE picks first round winners for novel wave energy technologies prize

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has unveiled the winners of the first round of the Innovating Distributed Embedded Energy Prize (InDEEP), that will share $285,000 in cash support to further advance their novel wave energy concepts.

Illustration/DEEC-Tec-based wave energy system (Courtesy of US DOE)

The 19 teams selected as the winners will develop their novel distributed embedded energy converter technology (DEEC-Tec) concepts to harness and convert the power of ocean waves into usable types of energy. 

DEEC-Tec concepts combine many small energy converters, often less than a few centimeters in size, into a single, larger ocean wave energy converter. This larger system could convert energy from a wide range of ocean locations and wave types.

During Phase I, competitors developed an initial DEEC-Tec concept, submitted a brief technical narrative representing their idea and innovation process, and completed a simplified technology performance level assessment to reflect their concept’s potential economic performance.

The following teams were each awarded $15,000 for their innovative DEEC-Tec concepts:

  • Active Materials and Smart Living from Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Blackfish Engineering from Braintree, Massachusetts
  • Blue Lotus Energy from Adair, Oklahoma
  • Chemventive from Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania
  • Condensed Wave Matter from Madison, Wisconsin
  • Elysium Robotics from Austin, Texas
  • FluxMagic from Portland, Oregon
  • Michigan Technological University and Arizona State University from Houghton, Michigan
  • PECWEC from Storrs/Mansfield, Connecticut
  • PiezOrigami Team from Blacksburg, Virginia
  • Pittsburgh Coastal Energy from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • PSU_EnergyHarvesting from State College, Pennsylvania
  • RQR Wave Team from Longmont, Colorado
  • Soft Energy from Ithaca, New York
  • Streaming Energy from La Jolla, California
  • Team FUSION from Newport, Michigan
  • Water Bros Development from Charlotte, North Carolina
  • WaveHarvest from Dallas, Texas 
  • Wave Grid from Galveston, Texas

Phase II of InDEEP is now open and welcomes both new and returning competitors. In Phase II, competitors will build and test a single energy converter designed to be part of a larger DEEC-Tec.

According to U.S. DOE, Phase II submissions close on May 7, 2024. 

InDEEP welcomes applications from those within and beyond the wave energy industry. Diverse, multidisciplinary teams are encouraged to apply to help solve some of the early-stage research challenges in the clean energy transition by innovating new concepts through the exploration and application of DEEC-Tec.

Informational webinars, in-kind mentorship, and additional resources will continue to be offered throughout the prize to support teams in developing, building, and testing their various DEEC-Tec concepts.  

InDEEP is funded by WPTO and administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in partnership with Sandia National Laboratories.  

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