By Ali Trueworthy, Photos courtesy of Rob Cavagnaro
April 9, 2019 The 2019 International Marine Renewable Energy Conference (IMREC) was hosted in Washington D.C. last week alongside the National Hydropower Association’s annual conference and the Marine Energy Technology Symposium (METS). Together, the events made up the 2019 Waterpower Week. PMEC Faculty from Oregon State University and University of Washington presented on panels and lead discussions on various wave and tidal energy topics. Professor Burke Hales of OSU College of Earth, Oceanic, and Atmospheric Sciences sat on a panel discussing the future of marine energy through “2020 and Beyond.” Professor Hales is the Principal Investigator on the PacWave project. PMEC co- director Bryson Robertson lead a panel of technology and project presentations which included both research and industry presentations. On the third day of the conference, PMEC co-director Brian Ploagye lead a panel of three other PMEC researchers from UW’s Applied Physics Lab, Robert Cavagnaro, James Joslin, and Andrew Stewart, along with University of Hawaii’s Patrick Cross. The panel presented a project which used a wave energy converter (WEC) to recharge an underwater vehicle and its accompanying sensor package. The final testing and demonstration for that project took place at the U.S. Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site in Hawaii.
Students and Researchers from OSU, UW, and UAF presented posters at the METS poster session. Bret Bosma presented his work on oscillating water column WEC array testing. He compared his model results to results from testing in Hinsdale Wave Lab. Caitlyn Clark, Hannah Mankle, and Ali Trueworthy all presented ongoing work from the Mechanical Engineering Department at OSU. Clark, whose work will be part of her PhD thesis, presented on reliability-based geometry optimization for heaving point absorber WECs. Mankle’s work, done during her internship at the National Renewable Energy Lab’s National Wind Technology Center and her first term as a graduate student as OSU, was on WEC performance optimization accounting for control system modeling. Trueworthy presented on the earliest stages of her work on the Department of Energy’s Wave-SPARC project, which included the outcomes of a WEC design workshop held at OSU. From UW, Justine Brakefield presented on wave loads and structural design of oscillating wave surge converters. Justine is a PhD student in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Jeremy Kasper, PMEC co-director and Professor at UAF presented on a sonar observation system powered by a river energy converter.
Waterpower week was an excellent opportunity for PMEC researchers from OSU, UW, and UAF to convene and share their work, both among each other and across the marine energy field at large.