Lockheed Martin and Ocean Power Technologies, expect to develop scalable wave energy projects for use around the globe

Lockheed Martin might be better known for its weapons and airplanes, but it also has skills that will be used to create large scale projects using Ocean Power Technologies’ (OPT) PowerBuoys. Together the companies expect to develop scalable wave energy projects for use around the globe.

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OPT has developed the PowerBuoy, a wave energy harvester.

OPT’s PowerBuoy® system extracts the natural energy in ocean waves, and is based on the integration of patented technologies in hydrodynamics, electronics, energy conversion and computer control systems.

The buoys are a simple rugged system that generates electricity from the up and down movement of the waves. This “mechanical stroking” is converted by a “sophisticated power-take off” to run an electrical generator. The electricity is then sent by underwater cable to onshore utilities.

Lockheed Martin will use its “expertise in systems integration, lean manufacturing, and test and optimization analysis to enhance OPT’s innovative PowerBuoy® wave power generation technology to utility-scale.” By combining their expertise, Lockheed Martin and OPT expect to provide the large scale systems that will move America away from coal and fossil fuel powered electricity to renewable energy.

PowerBuoy prototype PB40 has been successfully tested off the shore of New Jersey. Successive versions of the PowerBuoy have been installed in Hawaii and Santoña, Spain. Like Scotland’s Giant Sea Snake, OPT will deploy its PowerBuoy PB150 “at the European Marine Energy Center, Orkney Isles, Scotland at the end of 2009.”

Lockheed Martin is working on other renewable energy projects besides the PowerBuoy collaboration. The company is also working on an Ocean Thermal Energy Converson (OTEC) project with the US Department of Energy. Other projects include utility scale solar projects with Starwood Energy Group and development of the WindTracer for wind resource assessment.

Harvesting as many renewable energy resources as possible is the only way that countries will be able to switch completely away from greenhouse gas emitting sources of energy. The collaboration of giant Lockheed Martin with Ocean Power Technologies should assure the future of wave energy as a viable resource

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