The Energy Department today announced $8 million in available funding to spur innovation in next-generation marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) control and component technologies. In the United States, waves, tides, and ocean currents represent a largely untapped renewable energy resource that could provide clean, affordable energy to homes and businesses across the country's coastal regions. Advancements in MHK technologies will help these devices harness even more sustainable energy from marine environments.
Through this funding opportunity, the Energy Department plans to select up to five projects to improve the performance and reduce the technical risk of MHK technologies. Research and development supported by this funding will advance the following types of controls and components for use with MHK systems under development for commercial application:
- Advanced controls: Selected projects will design, develop, and validate components capable of monitoring and controlling the interaction of the device with the water resource for increased power production and efficiency.
- Crosscutting power take-off components: Selected projects will design, develop, and validate components for the "power take-off" systems of a broad variety of MHK devices, reducing the costs of deployments and increasing efficiency and availability. A power take-off is the MHK sub-system that includes the hardware needed to convert mechanical motion into electrical power.
- Innovative structures: Selected projects will design, develop, and validate advanced materials and structures for increased power production, availability, and greater manufacturability.