OPT deploys marine hydrokinetic device off New Jersey coast

Ocean Power Technologies Inc. (OPT) announced today it has successfully deployed its PB40 PowerBuoy off the coast of New Jersey about 30 nautical miles southeast of New York City Harbor. Costs of the program are not immediately available, but the operational buoy will provide the company with key performance data to accelerate ongoing product commercialization and technology development efforts.

OPT has permission to operate the PB40 PowerBuoy in New Jersey waters for one year. During the next 12 months the company said the device would transmit performance and wave data to OPT monitoring and analysis center at its headquarters in Pennington, N.J.

The PB40 features Modular Power Take-Off technology, which the company said can be scaled for buoys of various sizes and a range of power outputs.

Detail specifications of the PB40 PowerBuoy include:

  • A weight of 130 tons;
  • It is 110 ft in length; and
  • Operates in 148 ft (45 m) or more of water.

The device incorporates new design features including a high voltage electric power generation, distribution and management system, as well as an advanced energy storage system to provide autonomous power for offshore applications.

The company said, several PB40 components and subsystems are common to the OPT APB-350 PowerBuoy. It expects the PB40 deployment will validate critical design and performance parameters related to the on-going APB-350 optimization.

OPT said it anticipates deploying its APB350 A1 PowerBuoy later this summer and it is also readying its APB350 A2 PowerBuoy for deployment by the end of 2015 as “part of its strategic pivot to key autonomous offshore commercial applications and markets.”

George H. Kirby, OPT president and chief executive officer said, “This deployment is the culmination of the tremendous effort and dedication of the entire OPT team, deepening our expertise and solidifying our leadership in renewable wave energy conversion technology. We are very proud of this achievement and we look forward to assessing the buoy’s performance, which will provide an important step in furthering our discussions with customers in our target markets. Our goal is to bring reliable, cost-effective offshore power solutions to markets that will provide viable alternatives to higher-cost solutions and enable many new customer applications that are currently not available.”

In the company’s announcement, Kirby thanked the U.S. Department of Energy and the European Union for their investment in support of the program and the global marine renewable energy industry.

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Gregory B. Poindexter formerly was an associate editor for HydroWorld.com.

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