The PB40 prototype PowerBuoy® demonstrated successful ocean testing over the period 2005 – 2008 at a site off Atlantic City, New Jersey. This PowerBuoy was the first 40 kilowatts buoy developed by OPT with support from the US Navy and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and is the basis for successive generations of PowerBuoys. The principles demonstrated with the PB40 prototype PowerBuoy were integrated into the designs of additional PB40 buoys for Hawaii and Spain, and in PB150 PowerBuoys. The PB150 was deployed in Scotland in 2011.
The PB40 prototype has an overall length of 48 feet (14.6 meters) and a float diameter of 11.5 feet (3.5 meters). When deployed, the PowerBuoy is approximately 14 feet (4.25 meters) above the water. This PowerBuoy has many of the design attributes of larger PowerBuoys allowing OPT to demonstrate PowerBuoy enabling technologies on the PB40 prototype PowerBuoy. The PB40 prototype PowerBuoy demonstrated PowerBuoy control system architecture, data exchange, algorithms to extract the maximum amount of wave energy from incoming waves, mooring concepts, and installation approaches. The PB40 was a successful demonstration and test buoy for OPT’s technology.
The PB40 propotype PowerBuoy deployment site was in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately five miles offshore from Tuckerton, New Jersey, near Atlantic City. This site is near the northeast corner of the Long-Term Ecosystem Observatory (LEO-15), which is part of the Coastal Ocean Observation Laboratory. Water depth at the site is about 60 feet. The LEO-15 site is ideally suited for the PB40 prototype PowerBuoy since it experiences a wide range of wave conditions, including the wind and wave effects of Atlantic storms and hurricanes.
All the power generated by the PowerBuoy was dissipated onsite in a resistor bank. A shore station received all data transmissions from the PowerBuoy and transmitted them via the Internet to the Company’s Pennington, New Jersey headquarters. Remote control of the PB40 prototype PowerBuoy was achieved the same way.
OPT gratefully acknowledges the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and US Navy Office of Naval Research for their funding of the PB40 prototype PowerBuoy and its test program. This support has allowed OPT to develop wave energy enabling technologies and demonstrate them in a suitable ocean-testing environment.
The LEO-15 site.
The PB40 prototype PowerBuoy
undergoing a final inspection.
The PB40 prototype PowerBuoy shown with two of the surface style auxiliary mooring buoys. Auxiliary buoys in future systems are typically below the surface.
The PB40NJ PowerBuoy on station.