Washington Governor Jay Inslee and his staff, including his Cleantech sector lead, Brian Young, and Maritime sector lead, Joshua Berger, joined a research team from PMEC and the University of Washington's Applied Physics Lab and Mechanical Engineering Department today for a data collection trip on Lake Washington aboard the R/V Russell Davis Light research vessel.
R/V Light is specially-designed as a test bed for an array of marine renewable energy instrumentation, robotics and other technologies in real-world conditions. By driving the vessel at controlled speeds, researchers can simulate tides and ocean currents to study how marine energy devices perform.
The boat is currently outfitted to make detailed measurements of a type of turbine called a cross-flow or vertical axis turbine. Cross-flow turbines have great potential for harvesting energy from tides and ocean currents, but their hydrodynamics are complex and not fully understood in real-world environments.
The R/V Light was designed with versatility in mind and PMEC and APL researchers envision a wide variety of future configurations and studies using its exceptional capabilities.
The R/V Light was added to the APL-UW research fleet in August 2018 and dedicated to Russell Davis Light, the former head of the Ocean Engineering Department. Vessel construction was funded by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Washington Department of Commerce Clean Energy Fund, and the University of Washington. To learn more about the R/V Light, visit the APL website.