Seattle, WA. August 03, 2020. Oscilla Power, Inc. is proud to announce the receipt of a $200k grant from the US DOE to further develop technology that enables autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to recharge themselves using ocean waves. In this Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) project, Oscilla Power will collaborate with Lockheed Martin, through their Rotary and Mission Systems group, to explore how this capability can be incorporated into their AUV and UUV systems.
AUVs are now seeing significant use across a wide range of marine applications and the AUV market is projected to grow rapidly at a compound annual growth rate of 20.8% to over $1.6 Billion by 2025. However, the capability of an AUV is limited by its battery capacity. An NREL report noted that there were a number of key advantages in increasing the amount of power available, particularly the ability for longer duration missions. Oscilla’s technology offers the ability for the vehicle to recharge its batteries using only the environment, potentially enabling unlimited range and duration.
According to Balky Nair, President of Oscilla Power, “The development of a capability that can be integrated into commercial AUVs to provide enough power to recharge the on-board batteries could be potentially game-changing for ocean science and military operations”
Solar panels have been used previously for AUV recharging, however, this approach suffered from very low power and constrained operations to daytime only. A significant advantage of using waves for this purpose is that ocean waves are more than 100 times more energy dense than solar, allowing for much higher power to be produced. AUV’s spend the majority of their time working at depth so higher power is advantageous to minimize surfacing and recharging time.
Oscilla expect to demonstrate a fully working laboratory prototype early next year. If successful, Oscilla plans to work with Lockheed Martin to progress to a full ocean demonstration shortly afterwards, with the ultimate objective of transitioning the technology to commercial and military platforms.
About Oscilla Power Inc.: Oscilla Power Inc. is focused on developing advanced technology to extract energy from ocean waves. http://oscillapower.com