In September 2012, NWEI was selected by the US Department of Energy (DOE) via a competitive process to conduct a demonstration project at the US Navy’s grid-connected 30 meter Wave Energy Test Site (WETS) located at the Marine Corps Base Hawai’i (MCBH) on Oahu. The demonstration project at the Navy’s WETS is a collaboration between NWEI, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center (NAVFAC EXWC), University of Hawaii’s Hawaii National Marine Renewable Energy Center (HNMREC) and the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
In preparation for the WETS demonstration project, we are modifying the Azura protoype based on the lessons learned from the 2012 pilot project. The modified device will include upgrades to the hydraulic system to increase energy capture, improve reliability and reduce cost. The hardware upgrades will also allow the testing and evaluation of advanced control algorithms. The Azura device was deployed at WETS in May 2015 with testing to continue for a period of one year. WETS is grid-connected and also includes a high-bandwidth fiber optic connection to shore. This will allow us to test and evaluate different control algorithms without the need to physically access the device.