OPT, Converteam to mate superconductor generator to wave converter

Ocean Power Technologies Inc. and Converteam Ltd. have agreed to develop high temperature superconductor (HTS) linear generators for use in OPT PowerBuoy wave energy converters.

The companies envision directly converting the linear up-and-down motion of waves into electricity using OPT’s PowerBuoy and Converteam’s HTS linear generator.

Terms of the agreement announced Oct. 30 call for the companies to develop the technology jointly on an exclusive basis for at least five years. The parties also agreed to investigate commercial opportunities and potential customers for HTS linear generator PowerBuoys.

OPT, based in Pennington, is a wave energy technology and project developer with PowerBuoy projects in the U.S., United Kingdom, and Spain. Its customers and partners include Iberdrola, Total, and the U.S. Navy. OPT announced in early October it received $1.9 million from the Navy for its ongoing contract to deploy wave energy units off the shore of the U.S. Marine base at Kaneohe Bay on Oahu, Hawaii. (HNN 10/5/07)

Converteam, formerly Alstom Power Conversion, specializes in the development, design, and supply of electrical motors and generators, power converters, and cryogenic systems. The company, based in the United Kingdom, previously was named to build the world’s first high-temperature superconductor hydropower generator for installation at the 3.9-MW Hirschaid plant in Germany. (HNN 10/24/06)

Linear HTS generators installed in PowerBuoys could deliver significant reductions in the cost of wave-generated electricity, OPT Chief Executive Officer George Taylor said. The system should offer improved efficiency, reliability, and require less maintenance than linear permanent magnetic-based systems, the companies said.

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