video provided by Benjamin Strom

PMEC researchers are most active in six primary areas: Marine Energy Resources; Wave Energy Technology; Current Energy  Technology; Operations & Maintenance; Environment, and Society & Policy.


Marine Energy Resources

Understanding marine energy resources is fundamental to their utilization. PMEC research has expanded our understanding of waves and currents, particularly the extremes that impose the highest structural loads on conversion technologies.

 

 Deploying a Sea Spider instrumentation package to characterize tidal currents in Admiralty Inlet, WA.

Deploying a Sea Spider instrumentation package to characterize tidal currents in Admiralty Inlet, WA.


Wave energy Conversion Technology

Wave energy is the least utilized form of renewable energy and a challenging systems engineering problem that encompasses hydromechanics, control, and advanced mathematics. Research at PMEC seeks to develop more cost-effective approaches to harnessing this resource through simulation, laboratory experiments, and field trials.

 Testing the open-source "miniWEC" platform used for two Joint Industry Projects in 2017.

Testing the open-source "miniWEC" platform used for two Joint Industry Projects in 2017.


Current Energy Technology

The technology to convert tidal, river, and ocean currents to electricity has heavily leveraged advances in wind energy, but significant challenges remain. PMEC research has led to breakthroughs in the performance of individual turbines and dense arrays.

 PMEC students working with an axial-flow current turbine at the Bamfield Marine Science Center.

PMEC students working with an axial-flow current turbine at the Bamfield Marine Science Center.


Installation, Operations and Maintenance

Anyone who has spent time at sea understands the difficulty of working in the marine environment. PMEC researchers are working to develop new approaches installation, operations, and maintenance that leverage advances in robotics and autonomy.

 PMEC researchers readying an ROV deployment system for the Adaptable Monitoring Package.

PMEC researchers readying an ROV deployment system for the Adaptable Monitoring Package.


Environment

PMEC researchers are developing leading-edge methods and technologies to reduce uncertainty about the environmental effects of marine energy technologies. These can help to rapidly and cost-effectively identify risks that require mitigation and "retire" those that do not.

 Recovery of an early version of the Adaptable Monitoring Package.

Recovery of an early version of the Adaptable Monitoring Package.


Society & Policy

Without social acceptance, proving technical feasibility and environmental compatibility cannot enable broad adoption of marine energy conversion systems. PMEC research seeks to understand and quantify the many human dimensions of marine energy.

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