Columbia Power evaluated the maximum capacity of the linear prototype (heave
only) and determined that a utility-scale solution would require a device
capable of capturing energy in both heave and surge. With Garrad Hassan,
Columbia Power reviewed almost 12,000 simulations, exploring the optimal
geometry and generator loading for a rotational, self-referenced solution.
Scaled experimental testing recently performed
at the O.H. Hinsdale Tsunami Wave
Basin has been quite successful at predicting device performance and validating
the numerical modeling approach. Future plans include larger scale experiments
and additional optimization using numerical models which have been shown to make
performance predictions with a high degree of confidence.
Columbia Power provided the majority of
funding to upgrade the WESRF Lab facility with an advanced 10 kW Linear Test Bed (LTB)
for rapid prototyping of wave energy devices. The LTB is designed to
generate force and velocity profiles similar to those generated by ocean waves.
This enables dynamic and controlled testing of the devices in the
lab, which is more cost effective and not subject to weather windows. The LTB
is able integrate captured wave profiles from ocean monitoring buoys,
in order to more accurately simulate the response to forces from ocean waves.
Columbia Power directed the design, development
and deployment of an improved 10 kilowatt wave energy buoy utilizing
a prototype linear generator. The system was deployed for testing
2.5 miles off Newport Oregon over five days in September 2008 (video).
It successfully generated energy peaks in the 10kW to 15kW range in
a relatively mild summer wave climate. The buoy design is self
reacting to simplify mooring design to reduce mooring size and cost.
This Columbia Power Technologies design was the first ocean energy
device to produce kilowatt scale electrical energy off the Oregon
coast and is among a handful of devices that are currently at that
stage of development. Wave data was captured and will be used for
additional lab testing on the LTB. In addition, numerical and
experimental modeling will be used to develop a utility scale