The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Expeditionary Warfare Center (NAVFAC EXWC) awarded an additional $6 million to the Applied Research Laboratory at UH (ARL at UH), to support HNEI in continuing to provide critical research and logistical support to the U.S. Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site (WETS), off Marine Corps Base Hawai‘i.
“We are excited by the Navy’s latest investment in our work to advance wave energy through our support of WETS, particularly as it allows us to expand our research into new areas of relevance to offshore applications, such as autonomous vehicle recharge for ocean observing purposes,” said HNEI Specialist Pat Cross, the Principal Investigator for the WETS support program.
HNEI will examine the potential for existing WETS infrastructure to support: the creation of an offshore test and demonstration node, subsea power storage, communications and power interfaces that would allow smaller-scale WECs to recharge autonomous undersea vehicles (AUVs), and various environmental sensing systems. The team will also design an AUV docking and charging station. The new funding further supports HNEI and UH researchers to advance a variety of research projects, including a power generation and management system for a floating Oscillating Water Column WEC, a novel breakwater system with an integrated WEC that will generate power from wave energy while protecting coastal regions, and a small-scale WEC that can be rapidly deployed for both power generation and seawater desalination close to shore.
“This is an exciting time for the EXWC Marine Energy Development program”, added Nate Sinclair, WETS Program Manager, Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center. “Along with continuing to provide in-situ testing infrastructure and support for wave energy power to shore, we’re now making substantial investments for pursuing technology development that will lead to providing power in remote locations for Navy applications such as persistent surveillance and AUV recharging.”
› UH News announcement: https://www.hawaii.edu/news/2021/08/11/wave-energy-conversion-6m/
› SOEST announcement: https://www.soest.hawaii.edu/soestwp/announce/news/wave-energy-conversion-research-ramps-up-in-hawai%ca%bbi/