A wave energy device called a PowerBuoy will supply electrical power to radar nodes located off the coast of New Jersey in the US Navy’s Littoral Expeditionary Autonomous PowerBuoy (LEAP) program for coastal security and maritime surveillance.
The energy generating apparatus takes the form of a buoy that harvests the rising and falling of waves that causes a mechanical stroking within the buoy that is converted via a sophisticated power take-off to drive an electrical generator. The PowerBuoy comes from Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. in Pennington, N.J.
The U.S. Coast Guard recently deployed the LEAP system approximately 20 miles off the coast of New Jersey for tests. It will be integrated with a Rutgers University-operated, land-based radar network that provides ocean current mapping data for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and U.S. Coast Guard search and rescue operations. The tests are designed to demonstrate both the radar network and OPT’s technology as a source of remote power at sea.The Rutgers radar system is designed for vessel detection and tracking, enabling maritime surveillance in the near coast, harbors and littoral zones. Mikros Systems Corp. provided data and systems architecture support for the PowerBuoy/radar network.
Currently, remote systems at sea are often powered by diesel generators, which need frequent maintenance and fuel replenishment. In contrast, the LEAP PowerBuoy system incorporates proprietary power management techniques and onboard energy storage capability let the system operate for long periods even when there are no waves, OPT says. In addition, the system has been engineered to require no maintenance for three years.
More info: Ocean Power Technologies, http://www.oceanpowertechnologies.com/tech.htm