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CHIPS Articles: Carderock Division Hosts Wave Energy Prize Innovation Showcase

Carderock Division Hosts Wave Energy Prize Innovation Showcase
By Petty Officer 2nd Class Jackie Hart, Defense Media Activity - November 17, 2016
WEST BETHESDA, Md. (NNS) — Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division hosted the Wave Energy Prize Innovation Showcase in West Bethesda, Maryland, Nov. 16.

Distinguished guests for the showcase included U.S. Department of Energy Under Secretary for Science and Energy, Dr. Franklin Orr; Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installations & Environment), retired Vice Adm. Dennis McGinn; Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Joseph Bryan; and Founder, Chairman, and CTO of Masten Space Systems, David Masten, who also served as guest speaker.

The showcase featured nine finalist teams from around the U.S. who designed, built, and tested devices aimed to harness the power of the ocean, in an effort to establish a way forward in commercializing a cleaner and seemingly endless form of energy.

"If you look around, it doesn't take long to go to the beach and see, 'Wow, that's a lot of energy,'" said McGinn. "So figuring out how we can harvest that energy in an inexpensive, reliable way makes so much sense. It will add to our energy portfolio ... having this added to it, along with wind and solar [power] just makes a lot of sense."

Development stages for the Wave Energy Prize consisted of 68 competitors designing devices such as terminators, line absorbers, and point absorbers, then building and testing them on a 1/50 scale. The nine finalists also conducted further testing on 1/20-scale prototypes of their devices in Carderock's Maneuvering and Seakeeping (MASK) Basin, which is capable of simulating precise wave environments with 216 individually-controlled, electro-mechanical wave boards.

In the end, AquaHarmonics, a two-person team from Portland, Oregon, won first prize with a device which quintupled the baseline energy production requirement.

"Our goal was to build a device that would extract energy from ocean waves, and we attempted to do that by building a buoy with a generator inside, anchored to the seafloor, [so] any relative motion from the point on the seafloor to the elevation of the device will cause the generator to spin, producing electricity," said Max Levites-Ginsburg of AquaHarmonics. "We were working out of a garage, we didn't have a lot of resources, [and] we didn't have great facilities ... it was very surprising to us what we were able to achieve."

Levites-Ginsburg and teammate, Alex Hagmuller, began building small-scale wave energy prototypes five years ago, and their collective knowledge gained along the way led to a simple, efficient, and superior design worthy of the Wave Energy Prize.

"It says so much about America, about America's innovation, [and] our inventors that this small team literally operating out of a garage in Portland, Oregon, [has] won this $1.5 million Wave Energy Prize," said McGinn. "For them, this is just the beginning. It's a wonderful milestone, and they will be moving forward to continue to refine and scale up this type of technology."

The Wave Energy Prize is a public prize competition open to all U.S. entities, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and supported by the Office of Naval Research and NSWC, Carderock Division.

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, a part of Naval Sea Systems Command, leads the Navy in hull, mechanical, and electrical engineering. Headquartered in West Bethesda, Maryland, Carderock Division employs approximately 2,000 scientists, engineers, technicians, and support personnel and includes detachments in Norfolk (Little Creek); Port Canaveral, Florida; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Memphis, Tennessee; Bangor, Washington; Ketchikan, Alaska; and Bayview, Idaho.

For more information, visit http://www.navy.mil/, http://www.facebook.com/usnavy/, or http://www.twitter.com/usnavy/.

For more news from Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/nswcc/.

BETHESDA, Md. (Nov. 16, 2016) Team members for the Aqua Harmonics team from Portland, Oregon, receive first place in the Wave Energy Prize at a innovation showcase at Naval Sea Systems Command Cardarock, Md. The Wave Energy Prize was an opportunity for people across the nation to create new and innovative ways to harvest wave energy and do it at an affordable cost to product ratio. U.S. Navy Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Heath Zeigler.
BETHESDA, Md. (Nov. 16, 2016) Team members for the Aqua Harmonics team from Portland, Oregon, receive first place in the Wave Energy Prize at a innovation showcase at Naval Sea Systems Command Cardarock, Md. The Wave Energy Prize was an opportunity for people across the nation to create new and innovative ways to harvest wave energy and do it at an affordable cost to product ratio. U.S. Navy Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Heath Zeigler.

BETHESDA, Md. (Nov. 16, 2016) Capt. Mark Vandroff, commanding officer of Naval Sea Systems Command Carderock Division, gives a speech about the capabilities of the award winning Aqua Harmonic's wave powered single point generator during an innovation showcase in the Maneuvering and Seakeeping Basin in Carderock, Md. The Wave Energy Prize was an opportunity for people across the nation to create new and innovative ways to harvest wave energy and do it at an affordable cost to product ratio. U.S. Navy Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Heath Zeigler.
BETHESDA, Md. (Nov. 16, 2016) Capt. Mark Vandroff, commanding officer of Naval Sea Systems Command Carderock Division, gives a speech about the capabilities of the award winning Aqua Harmonic's wave powered single point generator during an innovation showcase in the Maneuvering and Seakeeping Basin in Carderock, Md. The Wave Energy Prize was an opportunity for people across the nation to create new and innovative ways to harvest wave energy and do it at an affordable cost to product ratio. U.S. Navy Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Heath Zeigler.
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