By Michael Ard
KANEOHE BAY, Hawaii (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center managed the deployment of the Fred. Olsen Ltd. "Lifesaver" Wave Energy Conversion device to the Navy's Wave Energy Test Site, March 22-25.
NAVFAC EXWC established and still manages the WETS facility located off Marine Corps Base, Hawaii.
The Lifesaver, a ring-shaped WEC buoy, is being tested to obtain operational data on this particular ocean renewable energy conversion technology. The buoy converts energy generated by passing waves into electrical energy.
Previously tested off the south coast of England for 19 months, the WETS Lifesaver test and demonstration project will use an improved buoy whose key components were redesigned to improve reliability. This effort is being managed by NAVFAC EXWC, with Sound & Sea Technology Inc. as the assembly and installation contractor, and Fred. Olsen Ltd., a Norwegian company, as the technology developer providing WEC performance data to the Hawaiian Natural Energy Institute for analysis. With assistance from local marine services companies Healy Tibbitts Builders and Sea Engineering Inc., the buoy was towed from MCBH and connected into the WETS mooring infrastructure previously deployed by NAVFAC EXWC last year.
NAVFAC EXWC established and manages the WETS infrastructure, which is comprised of three offshore berths to accommodate WEC devices undergoing test and demonstration for the Navy. The site has two deep-water berths and one shallow-water berth where Northwest Energy Innovations' Azura WEC device is currently operating. Additional WEC devices will be deployed with Navy and Department of Energy funding support over the next few years. These tests, monitored by NAVFAC EXWC, will serve to accelerate the development and deployment of future renewable wave energy technologies by making them more competitive with traditional energy solutions.
NAVFAC's only warfare center, EXWC was established in September 2012 and is a command of more than 1,000 dedicated men and women who provide specialized facilities engineering, technology solutions, and lifecycle management of expeditionary equipment to the Navy, Marine Corps, federal agencies, and other Department of Defense supported commands.