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Ocean Energy Extraction for Sensor Applications

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00014-08-M-0273
Agency Tracking Number: N08A-021-0075
Amount: $69,997.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: N08-T021
Solicitation Number: 2008.A
Solicitation Year: 2008
Award Year: 2008
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2008-06-30
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2009-04-29
Small Business Information
6300 Gateway Dr.
Cypress, CA 90630
United States
DUNS: 614108918
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Jess Sargent
 Principal Investigator
 (714) 224-4410
Business Contact
 Parviz Parhami
Title: Chief Executive Officer
Phone: (714) 224-4410
Research Institution
 Susan W Sedwick
Office of Sponsored Projects PO Box 7726
Austin, TX 78713-7726
United States

 (512) 471-6424
 Domestic Nonprofit Research Organization

We propose to generate electricity for data buoys in a whole new way, leveraging SARA’s laboratory-demonstrated and patented liquid-metal magnetohydrodynamic (LMMHD) technology. Phase I will prove feasibility via experiments, analyses, and system-level design of a practical and compact MHD-based wave energy conversion system (MWEC) capable of providing continuously 200 W to buoy onboard sensor and telemetry systems. In previous SBIR work supported by the US Navy (ONR, NSWCCD), we designed and demonstrated both low power (200W) and much higher-power (~100kW) LMMHD generators in the lab. We propose now to develop a small-scale, efficient, economical, and reliable unit for use in sensor buoy applications. In contrast to problematic alternatives employing conventional generators, LMMHD allows us to shift the ocean-wave impedance-matching burden from the mechanical domain, where it is difficult to manage, to the electrical domain, where efficient switching-type upconversion can be applied to great advantage. Our STTR partner, the Center for Electromechanics (CEM) at the University of Texas, Austin, will provide key support in this area. The proposed R&D will lead to a hermetically-sealed and nearly maintenance-free LMMHD generator and upconversion unit, to be placed between the buoy and its underwater mooring cable, thus making retrofitting an existing buoy straightforward.

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

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