At the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, hydrokinetic energy is more than just a research topic, it is a possible solution to some pressing local challenges. There are more than two hundred remote villages in Alaska that currently depend on high-polluting diesel generators for power production.
Because a wave energy farm has no control over converging waves, the wave energy conversion devices themselves must be controlled. PMEC researchers study device control methods that can allow operators to get the power they want, when they want it.
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). The event 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.
An individual may never be an expert in marine energy. There are plenty of experts working in the field, but they are experts in hydrodynamics, acoustics, control systems, design, oceanography, coastal dynamics, sociology, community dynamics, marine biology, naval engineering, mechanics, robotics, natural resource management, or one of many other disciplines which make up the community here at PMEC. That’s right, they are all here - and that is what makes PMEC so special.
After 11 days of testing in the O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Lab (HWRL), Alex Hagmuller and Max Ginsburg of Aquaharmonics left with high hopes. The team of Oregon State University graduates is testing a 1/20th scale version of the device concept that won the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wave Energy Prize.