Navy sinks funds into wave power

Sensors floating on the ocean could harvest power from waves

The Navy has awarded a $3 million contract to Ocean Power
Technologies to further develop buoys that generate electricity
from the motion of ocean waves.


The service plans to use such flotation devices, named
PowerBuoys, to power sensors that float. Such sensors could be used
to keep track of traffic across wide swaths of ocean.


The package is being developed through the Deep Water Active
Detection Systems (DWADS) program. The Office of Naval Research
funded the initial development of the power-generating
technology.


Ocean Power has already tested its devices, in a prototype that
was floated 75 miles off the coast of New Jersey.


This contract provides the funds for further testing, including
refinements in mooring design and seaworthiness.


DWADS is an example of a self-poweredsensor system, with the buoys providing the electricity needed
to conduct operations.


"The rising and falling of the waves off shore causes the buoy
to move freely up and down. The resultant mechanical stroking is
converted...to drive an electrical generator," According to a
company Web site that
explains the technology.



About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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