Ocean Power Technologies has informed that its PB3 PowerBuoy unit deployed with oil firm Eni offshore Italy, has produced more than one MegaWatt-hour (MWh) cumulative energy to date.
OPT’s PowerBuoy consists of a float, spar, and heave plate. The float moves up and down the spar in response to the motion of the waves, generating electricity for the onboard payload or for export to nearby marine applications using a submarine electrical cable. According to OPT, the high-performance wave energy conversion system generates power even in moderate wave environments.
Eni and OPT last year entered into an agreement to use PowerBuoy technology to demonstrate subsea battery charging, and eventually may be used to provide a stand-alone charging station and communications platform that would enable the long-term remote operation of AUVs.
The unit was deployed in April 2018 to advance Eni’s R&D MaREnergy project, aiming to develop, deploy and demonstrate the suitability of wave energy renewable technologies in oil & gas operations.
OPT has this week said that the PowerBuoy has been deployed for six months, “operating continuously and error-free while being controlled remotely from OPT’s NJ facility,” and has reached a what it says is a key milestone of producing “more than one MegaWatt-hour (MWh) cumulative energy to date.”
Announcing the milestone, George H. Kirby, OPT’s President and Chief Executive Officer said, “We are excited to announce this major power generation milestone for our PB3 PowerBuoy deployed in the Adriatic Sea…The PowerBuoy has been extremely reliable and demonstrated flexibility across a variety of applications.”
“This ongoing successful project with Eni makes it clear that the PB3 PowerBuoy is a valuable tool for a broad range of offshore Oil & Gas exploration and production operations, including charging of underwater unmanned vehicles, well monitoring, asset inspection, and decommissioning applications, and this project could lead to many new opportunities for our company going forward,” concluded Mr. Kirby.
OPT has shared that the PowerBuoy has demonstrated AUV charging capabilities during the recent trials with Eni, successfully sending power and communications to a subsea payload throughout the test period. The PowerBuoy is being tested as a standalone charging station and communications platform to enable the long-term remote operation of AUVs, also known as “Residential AUV’s.”
Images by OPT
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