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Prognostic and Health Management Technology for MHK Devices MHKPHM)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0013889
Agency Tracking Number: 218543
Amount: $149,999.95
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 18b
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001227
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2015
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2015-06-08
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2016-03-07
Small Business Information
75 Aero Camino Suite A
Goleta, CA 93117-3134
United States
DUNS: 153927827
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Stuart Fowler
 (256) 715-6681
Business Contact
 Timothy Kellett
Title: Dr.
Phone: (805) 685-6672
Research Institution

The Department of Energy estimates the maximum theoretical electric generation produced from waves, tidal and riverine currents and ocean thermal energy gradients in US waters to be approximately 2,116 terawatt hours per year - more than half the nations total annual electricity usage. Commercial-scale marine hydrokinetic energy MHK) converters that can provide this energy are large, highly dynamic devices operating in a harsh marine environment. Reliable and predictable MHK converters will increase the US use of renewable energy sources in the near future on a predictable cost basis. However, ensuring reliable operation and servicing these devices at sea is a difficult and costly operation. The application of Prognostic and Health Management PHM) technology to MHK devices minimizes unplanned failures and optimizes maintenance resulting in improved reliability and availability and reduced maintenance costs and levelized cost of energy. Frontier Technology, Inc. FTI) will develop and demonstrate an innovative monitoring and predictive analytics capability for MHK devices MHKPHM) that can monitor devices in real-time, on the device itself or at a central management facility, detect indicators of degradation and future failure, diagnose the underlying cause of potential failures, predict time to failure, determine corrective actions, and report status. MHKPHM technology relies only on data currently available and requires no changes in equipment, sensors or data sources. It applies advanced statistical methodologies to create models of a system in a nominal state. Actual data is compared to model predictions to detect variances that, while small, are statistically significant departures from normal and foreshadow potential failures. A metric -- the Probability of Abnormality -- indicates if the system is operating normally or is in an unexpected, degrading or failed state. Pattern matching technology isolates the underlying cause of failure with a low probability of false alarm. MHKPHM then associates corrective actions with the identified fault. The projected time to failure and confidence level is determined based on the failure modes, history and past performance characteristics. Reporting functions that inform the operations team of status and future performance characteristics. MHKPHM also has the ability to cause command sequences at the MHK device to mitigate the effects of abnormal or degrading conditions. MHKPHM proof of concept will be demonstrated at the completion of Phase I and a prototype capable of transition to operations will be available at the completion of Phase II. The software resulting from this project can be licensed to government and commercial enterprises for incorporation into or external monitoring of real-time energy converter systems using renewable sources including water and wind. Targets for commercialization include developers, manufacturers, operators and maintainers of MHK energy converters as well as any energy generation equipment that operates in a dynamic environment and is difficult to service and where consistent operation is critical to reliable energy production. The broad application of PHM technology which accurately predicts the source and corrective action for future equipment failures optimizes their operation and maintenance, increases availability, and ensures a continuous source of energy.

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

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