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Wave-energy power generation system for hybrid oil&gas drill rigs

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DESC0020898
Agency Tracking Number: 0000252255
Amount: $206,492.99
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 13c
Solicitation Number: DEFOA0002146
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-06-29
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-03-28
Small Business Information
Charlottesville, VA 22902
United States
DUNS: 798823188
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Leonard Rummel
 (541) 368-5033
Business Contact
 Bradford Lamb
Phone: (434) 220-6128
Research Institution

C·Power will deliver a novel power generation system—the “RigRAY”—for providing primary, supplemental and redundant power for remote offshore loads. It is intended to provide whole or partial replacement of on-board, carbon-based power systems used for powering drilling operations and other loads within the offshore upstream oil and gas sector, along with other sectors in the blue economy. C·Power and the Project end-use partner (a global leader) will work together to co-develop the initial RigRAY prototype. The RigRAY is expected to be attached to, or adjacent to, the drilling vessel or platform and will capture and convert mechanical wave energy into usable power on board. The produced power will be fed into the pre-existing energy storage system onboard the rig, to ensure continuous power availability. The initial 50kW design will satisfy smaller loads, but the system will be designed to scale to larger loads, with a goal of substantially reducing or replacing onboard, carbon-based, generated power. The need for such a system is driven by the radical change confronting the offshore supply chain in how it powers operational loads. This change is necessitated by new technical innovations that require power to be delivered in ways it hasn’t in the past, along with the increasingly intense drive to reduce or eliminate operational emissions. These requirements translate into a lack of viable power solutions available today and a roadblock to implementing new technologies and net-zero operations. In Phase I, C·Power will gather requirements and standards from potential market participants and stakeholders, including the Project end-use partner, and analyze those requirements to determine a common set of customers’ needs. The Project team will then conceptualize one or more variant solutions, building from the initial RigRAY concept. These concepts will undergo high-fidelity numerical simulation in selected location(s), utilizing representative sea states to accurately model prototype performance and structural loads. The Phase I design will be optimized for cost of energy and survivability. In addition, the market opportunity for both the end-use partner and within the blue economy, as a whole, will be investigated with third-party validation. Advancing the RigRAY towards commercialization in subsequent Phase II/III projects will deliver a scalable, clean energy generation system capable of materially reducing liquid fuel consumption and emissions offshore. Phase II will see the build and test of an up to 50KW RigRAY prototype in a simulated use-case application. On a macro level, environmental benefits accrue globally. On a micro level, offshore drilling companies can move towards net-zero operations and reduce costs, while improving human and environmental safety. This benefit will also be available to other business segments within the offshore energy sector, as well as other sectors in the blue economy. This includes defense, aquaculture, and other sectors that rely on liquid fuel for providing power at sea for remote, non-grid connected loads.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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