Ocean Power Technologies Inc has announced that the Company has received a new US patent for a method of controlling wave power generation equipment to optimize energy harvesting in low to moderate sea states. Real time sensor data and proprietary, predictive algorithms are used by the PowerBuoy's™ control system to maximize the net power generated in low to moderate sea states. The control technique is fast enough to be applied to the timescale of a single passing wave. The newly issued patent involves techniques for allowing the PowerBuoy™ to remain in a sleep mode, then activate very quickly to harvest wave energy, and then return to a sleep mode if wave conditions are not optimal for continued power generation. This patent represents an upgrade over earlier control system designs and a significant improvement in power management. For more information see the IDTechEx report on wave, tidal and hydro power.
George H. Kirby, President and Chief Executive Officer of OPT, stated, "With this patent we have increased the ability to generate net positive power in very low sea states that can significantly extend the run time available from internal reserve battery power. This new patent allows the PowerBuoy™ to be deployed into areas with lower wave activity and to achieve the design target of two weeks of continuous power generation with no waves. We believe that combining this breakthrough technology with existing patented inventions provides a basis for advanced control system capabilities that can further the efficiency of wave generation and expand the potential for wave energy capture throughout more global locations."
The newly issued patent increases the Company's US issued patent portfolio to 65 patents, with 50 active US patents. In addition, the Company has an additional 3 US patent applications pending. Expiration dates for issued US patents range from 2018 through 2032. Outside of the US the Company has been issued 200 patents across thirteen countries with 33 of the active US patents having at least one corresponding issued foreign patent. The Company's patent portfolio includes patents and patent applications with claims directed to: system design; control systems; power conversion; anchoring and mooring; and wave farm architecture.
Source and top image: Ocean Power Technologies Inc