DOE announces Waves to Water Prize stage two winners, selection of final test site

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the winners of the second stage (DESIGN) of the Waves to Water Prize, which have showed they are prepared to build a proof-of-concept prototype of their modular desalination systems.

The Waves to Water prize was launched in February 2019 by Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Daniel R Simmons and calls on U.S. innovators to leverage the power of the ocean to provide potable drinking water to remote coastal and island communities through wave energy-powered desalination systems.

A total of 17 winners were selected, receiving a $47,000 cash prize and the right to continue building on their innovation in the third stage. Below are the winning entries and teams:

  • Aquaceano, team of Sam Beyene, Ciramax
  • B&V SurfBuoy, BV SurfBuoy Team
  • Ballast, Buoys, and Borrowing from Archimedes, team of Project 816
  • Canvasback Desalination System, Canvasback Desalination System Team
  • DUO-Powered Waves to Water, team of Sea Potential
  • MetaMorph H2O – Desalination WEC, Mirko Previsic’s Team (Re Vision Consulting)
  • MZSP Freshwater Production System, team of MarkZero Prototypes LLC
  • Nalu e Wai – A Hawaii, India, Sweden Collaboration, Team Nalu e Wai
  • Oneka Compact Wave-Powered Watermaker, team of Oneka
  • The ROOWaC Desalinator, Wells Engineering Team
  • Wave2Oâ„¢ 1.5m3/d HDPE SurgeWECâ„¢, RME USA’s Team
  • SD Cal Desal, SD Cal Desal Team
  • Surge Seeker, Surge Seeker Team & Water Duck Team
  • WATER BROS Desalination, Water Bros Team
  • Water Duck, Water Duck Team & Surge Seeker Team
  • Wave Drinker: Fresh Water from and Powered by Ocean, Wave Drinker Team

In partnership with the Coastal Studies Institute (CSI), DOE also announced that Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head in North Carolina’s Outer Banks will be the staging ground for the final DRINK stage of the Waves to Water Prize. During the DRINK stage, scheduled for spring 2022, contestants will build and test their systems that use only waves as a power source for desalination systems capable of providing clean water in disaster and recovery scenarios, as well as in water-scarce coastal and island locations.

“These competitors and their wave-powered desalination systems could hold a key to coastal community resilience,” Simmons said. “Their groundbreaking ideas could help us find a sustainable solution to the challenge of water scarcity, in both the wake of disasters and for day-to-day needs in these communities.”

Winners of the DESIGN stage will advance to the ADAPT stage. During this stage, teams will continue their computer-based modeling work, tweaking system designs to account for the wave conditions at Jennette’s Pier. Competitors will then return to the lab for the CREATE Stage, from February 2021 through September 2021. This stage will challenge contestants to build a functional prototype or proof-of-concept of their system and develop a plan to build and deliver their technology for testing at Jennette’s Pier during the final DRINK Stage, a five-day, open-water test

CSI is a multi-institutional research and education partnership led by East Carolina University, in collaboration with NC State University, UNC Chapel Hill, UNC Wilmington, and Elizabeth City State University.

Part of the American-Made Challenges series, the Waves to Water Prize was the first prize announced in DOE’s Water Security Grand Challenge. The challenge is focused on advancing transformational technology and innovation to meet the global need for secure and affordable water.

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