OPT PowerBuoy withstands Hurricane Irene

Ocean Power Technologies Inc. said its PowerBuoy recently deployed off the coast of New Jersey successfully withstood the severe conditions of Hurricane Irene.

Deployed under the US Navy’s Littoral Expeditionary Autonomous PowerBuoy program, the PowerBuoy was in the direct path of Hurricane Irene, which hit the New Jersey coastline on Aug. 27. The PowerBuoy emerged from the two-day storm undamaged and fully operational, with all the buoy’s systems having withstood wave heights of up to 15 meters, OPT said.

During the storm, the PowerBuoy continued to supply consistent power to its communications and radar payload, and dissipate the high amounts of surplus energy it produced, the company said. What’s more, nearly constant communication was maintained with the device throughout the storm, allowing continuous on-land monitoring of the buoy’s status and performance.

“Despite encountering significant wave heights, the buoy continued to produce power and operated exactly as designed for extreme sea conditions,” said OPT Chief Executive Officer Charles Dunleavy “On Monday morning, after the storm passed, our PowerBuoy was right on station where it had originally been deployed and was operating to the Navy’s specifications as it did prior to the storm.”

The PowerBuoy, which was deployed on August 11, 2011, continues to undergo sea trials approximately 20 miles off the coast of New Jersey under a U.S. Navy program for coastal security and maritime surveillance.

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