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Wave Energy Harvesting to Power LiDAR Buoys

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0021944
Agency Tracking Number: 0000268235
Amount: $1,149,285.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: C52-18a
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-08-22
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-08-21
Small Business Information
330 Billerica Road Suite 200
Chelmsford, MA 01824-4040
United States
DUNS: 796010411
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Tyler Robertson
 (978) 856-1900
Business Contact
 Collette Jolliffe
Phone: (978) 856-4158
Research Institution

Due to increased pressure from climate change and global energy insecurity, there has been a surge in demand for renewable energy. One potential market has been severely underutilized: marine renewable energy. Buoy mounted LiDAR systems are being used to understand site-specific physical and environmental responses to renewable energy development, which is critical to reducing time and costs associated with planning, developing, and permitting. These LiDAR buoys have significant power requirements that are difficult to meet with on-board solar and wind sources.Triton is addressing this problem by developing a point-absorber type wave energy converter that can be integrated with existing LiDAR buoy systems. It uses an oscillating water column effect caused by buoy heave motion to drive an electrical generator. A specialized control algorithm will be used to maximize power output from irregular ocean wave input.In Phase I, we demonstrated a concept for a wave energy converter to provide power for LiDAR buoys by:
• Interfacing with end users and LiDAR buoy manufacturers to develop a design matrix for needs and specifications.
• Developing mechanical, electrical, and control aspects of the wave energy converter that addresses these specific needs to maintain reliability and measurement fidelity.
• Testing a scale model of the design in a wave tank to evaluate mathematical models, simulations, and design concepts.
What will be done in Phase II?
The Phase II builds on the tasks that were completed during the Phase I effort. The specific objectives of the proposed Phase II research include:
• Develop design details to address critical mechanical, structural, and electrical challenges related to LiDAR buoys, including reliability measurement fidelity and certifications.
• Demonstrate the power generating potential of the WEC by thorough simulation and modeling using real sea state data as input.
• Validate simulations and refine models with thorough wave tank testing campaigns.
• Conduct in-situ testing to evaluate performance, investigate reliability, and demonstrate effectiveness to stakeholders.In addition to enabling increased performance and reliability for LiDAR buoys, variations of the proposed WEC can be used to provide power for other Blue Economy uses including ocean observing buoys, navigational buoys, create UUV recharging nodes, offshore aquaculture, and other marine applications at various scales.

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

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