Optimized Hydrokinetic Systems

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Program:
SHARKS
Award:
$3,576,987
Location:
Portland,
Maine
Status:
ACTIVE
Project Term:
10/16/2021 - 10/15/2024
Website:

Critical Need:

Significant technical and environmental barriers make current Hydrokinetic Turbines (HKT) systems prohibitively expensive. Hydrokinetic energy systems’ low technical readiness calls for a system-level approach that will include hydrodynamics, structural dynamics, control systems, power electronics, grid connections, and performance optimization, while minimizing potential negative environmental effects and maximizing system reliability. The challenging, multi-disciplinary nature of this design space means many systems haven’t moved beyond the theoretical design phase. Submarine Hydrokinetic And Riverine Kilo-megawatt Systems (SHARKS) aims to use control co-design (CCD), co-design (CD), and designing for operation and maintenance (DFO) methodologies to develop radically new HKTs for tidal and riverine applications that drastically reduce the levelized cost of energy (LCOE). This program aims to address industry-wide limitations to provide economical hydrokinetic power at micro-grid and utility scale.

Project Innovation + Advantages:

Ocean Renewable Power Company, Inc. (ORPC) has led the development of crossflow turbine hydrokinetic technology worldwide. Multiple systems have demonstrated reliability over extended periods. The specific power of the present systems is low, however, leading to a high levelized cost of energy. ORPC proposes to develop an improved low-cost system using CCD and design for operation techniques. This novel hydrokinetic energy system will identify dynamic couplings between turbine subsystems and components to optimize system mass and performance. The new systems will be deployed in arrays. The project includes hydrodynamic testing of model-scale turbines to guide and validate the new concepts and the construction of a larger-scale turbine, with sensors embedded during manufacture to validate structural design. The team will perform open water testing and measurements of performance and loads by mounting the turbine in an open water test frame. It will demonstrate prognostic health monitoring and active load control approaches.

Potential Impact:

Hydrokinetic energy is an abundant renewable energy source that presents unique opportunities and benefits.

Security:

Diverse renewable energy resources can boost grid resiliency and reduce infrastructure vulnerabilities.

Environment:

HKTs, used to capture energy from tides, rivers, canals, and ocean currents, optimize a clean, renewable power source that could help reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

Economy:

Hydrokinetic energy has applications beyond solely providing power to electrical grids. It is ideally suited to the emerging technologies and markets built upon ocean- and riverine-based infrastructure, including climatological observation, aquaculture, desalination, ocean floor and seawater mining, disaster recovery, powering isolated communities, and autonomous underwater vehicle support.

Contact

ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Mario Garcia-Sanz
Project Contact:
Mr. Jarlath McEntee
Press and General Inquiries Email:
ARPA-E-Comms@hq.doe.gov
Project Contact Email:
jmcentee@orpc.co

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Release Date:
11/24/2020