open-ocean site is available for testing and demonstrating full-scale wave energy conversion (WEC) systems
that have potential for Navy energy applications.
According to Law, the capability originally was established in 2001 with one berth at the 30-meter (98-foot)
water depth to support point absorber-type WEC tests.
“Today, with the addition of two deep-water berths
that support both point absorber and oscillating water
column WEC testing at 60-meter [197-foot] and
80-meter [262-foot] water depths, a total of three WETS
berths are operational as the first U.S. grid-connected
facility of its kind.”
To further study wave energy as a renewable
resource, the Navy, Department of Energy (DOE) and
industry have teamed up for the Wave Energy Prize.
Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division,
Md., is testing different prototypes for WEC devices
that capture energy from ocean waves, using its unique
Maneuvering and Seakeeping Basin.
Participants are designing, building, numerically
modeling and testing 1/50th- and 1/20th-scale devices
in different stages of the program, with a grand prize of
$1,500 from DOE at stake.
“No one has a facility this large that can generate
waves of this size to get the appropriate scale for the
devices,” said Dave Newborn, an ocean engineer with
Carderock’s Maritime Systems Hydromechanics Branch.
“The DOE came to us because of the big tank, the big
waves we can make and the expertise we have here.
With a vital program like this one, the data has to be as
thorough and accurate as possible.”
Investing in efficiency — such as retrofitting or updating
conventional boilers, lighting or heating, ventilation and
air conditioning systems — can pay long-term dividends.
Conservation efforts, replacing incandescent and
fluorescent lighting with LED lighting, and using
electric vehicles can save money and reduce pollution. Solar systems heat water, and geothermal systems help manage thermal loads in buildings. New
buildings are being designed to maximize natural
light during the daytime to reduce the electrical load
for work spaces.
Energy savings can have second- and third-order
effects, not the least of which is more money that can
be spent on other priorities. In Texas, it can save water.
A study published in August by CNA Analysis &
Solutions, for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)
on behalf of the Texas Army National Guard, found that
the Guard’s growing energy demands also stressed local
water resources. The common use of coal, oil or even
nuclear plants, which use steam turbine generators,
consume significant amounts of water. Augmenting or
replacing those sources with solar or wind generation
could reduce energy costs and protect water resources,
the study said.
Military services have been struggling with how to
reach their renewable energy goals, said EDF’s Kate
Zerrenner, the study’s author.
“There are mandates in place, but energy managers
see one thing, and acquisition and procurement special-
ists see something else. The model gives them something
to show that an investment in clean energy is a good
business decision. They can use the study’s findings to
show how they can ensure energy security and protect
water supplies, and do it at a lower cost.”
The study’s model looked at factors such as price,
demand and availability of different energy sources.
The model could be used to make data-based invest-
ment decisions about procuring new wind or solar
systems for military facilities everywhere. n
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG 50 SEAPOWER / NOVEMBER 2016
Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center (NAVFAC EXWC) managed the deployment of the Fred
Olsen Ltd. “Lifesaver” Wave Energy Conversion device between March 22 and 25 to the Navy’s Wave Energy Test
Site (WETS). NAVFAC EXWC established and still manages the WETS facility located off Marine Corps Base Hawaii.