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Riding the Waves: Harnessing Ocean Wave Energy through Research, Development, and Testing

An extremely abundant and promising source of energy exists in the world's oceans. Ocean energy exists in the forms of wave, tidal, marine currents, thermal (temperature gradient) and salinity. Among these forms, significant opportunities and benefits have been identified in the area of ocean wave energy extraction, i.e., harnessing the motion of the ocean waves, and converting that motion into electrical energy. Ocean wave power offers several attractive qualities including high power density, low variability and excellent forecastability. The opportunities for ocean wave power to become a new, reliable and clean source of renewable energy will be discussed, as well as activities of the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC), a Department of Energy-sponsored partnership between Oregon State University, the University of Washington, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. NNMREC performs fundamental technological, social, and environmental research, in addition to providing unique testing facilities including a wave energy test bed, 2D and 3D wave tanks, and an Ocean Sentinel instrumentation buoy to facilitate ocean testing and verification of new technologies. These established and developing marine energy testing facilities will be presented in detail, including the associated testing of materials and technologies for bio-fouling resistant surfaces.

Anyone outside NIST wishing to attend must be sponsored by a NIST employee and receive a visitor badge.

For more information, contact Stephanie Shaw at 301-975-2667.

Colloquia are videotaped and available in the NIST Research Library.

Alex Yokochi
School of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering
Oregon State University & Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center

Created February 29, 2012, Updated January 5, 2017