Wave Energy Prize unveils finalist teams

The nine finalists and two alternates, identified from the 17 remaining official qualified teams, will continue their quest to double the energy captured from ocean waves and win a prize purse totaling more than $2 million as part of Wave Energy Prize challenge.

Each of the finalists and alternates will now receive seed funding from the US Department of Energy (DoE) to develop 1:20 scale models of their wave energy converter (WEC) technologies.

These models will be tested at the Naval Surface Warfare Center’s Maneuvering and Seakeeping (MASK) wave-making facility at Carderock, Maryland, beginning in the summer of 2016.

Official finalist teams are:

  • AquaHarmonics
  • CalWave
  • M3 Wave
  • Oscilla Power
  • RTI Wave Power
  • Sea Potential
  • Wavefront Power
  • Waveswing America

Alternate teams are McNatt Ocean Energy, and Wave Energy Conversion Corporation of America (WECCA).

Wes Scharmen, Chief Judge of the Wave Energy Prize, said: “The qualified teams’ efforts resulted in some very promising technologies for the judges to evaluate. Based on our preliminary evaluation, the data indicates that many of the teams identified as finalists have the potential to achieve the ACE threshold, and thus the potential to exceed DOE’s program goal. We’re looking forward to further verifying their designs performance at 1:20 scale in the MASK Basin at Carderock this summer.”

ACE – a benefit-to-cost ratio – was selected by the Wave Energy Prize as a metric appropriate for comparing low Technology Readiness Level WEC concepts when there is not enough data to calculate the levelized cost of energy – itself a cost-to-benefit ratio – from a device, according to the Wave Energy Prize administration.

ACE is determined by dividing the wave energy extraction efficiency of a WEC by its structural cost.

Finalists were determined based on their potential to achieve the doubling of the current state-of-the-art ACE value of 1.5 meters per million dollars (m/$M) to 3 m/$M during 1:20 scale tank testing at the MASK Basin, making them eligible to win the grand prize.

A panel of expert judges evaluated each qualified team based on their revised technical submissions, numerical modeling results, model design and construction plans, and the results of small-scale tank testing of their 1:50 scale models, and determined aggregate scores to identify the finalist pool, Wave Energy Prize administration informed.