Wave Energy Devices Put To Test In Oregon

The NNMREC held forums in coastal cities last week to explore where to site the Pacific Marine Energy Center, with waters off Newport, Reedsport, Coos Bay and Camp Rilea under consideration.

The Ocean Sentinel will operated in a 1-square-mile patch of the ocean about two miles northwest of Yaquina Head, according to Oregon State University. In addition to studying how wave energy devices fare in the waters, the program hopes to measure “potential environmental impacts, whether they might come from electromagnetic fields, changes in acoustics, or other factors,” the university said.

ocean sentinel schematic

image via Oregon State University

According to the university (see schematic above), the Ocean Sentinel consists of a power analysis/data acquisition device and an adjustable load bank (ALB). The data is sent via wireless to the university’s Hatfield Marine Science Center, where it can be crunched to give “RMS voltage and current, frequency, real and reactive power, power factor, harmonic content and other quantitative analyses.” The ALB dissipates the energy generated.

Development of the $1.5 million Ocean Sentinel was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Oregon Department of Energy and the Oregon Wave Energy Trust.

Sports columnist, newspaper desk guy, website managing editor, wine-industry PR specialist, freelance writer—Pete Danko’s career in media has covered a lot of terrain. The constant along the way has been a fierce dedication to knowing the story and getting it right. Danko's work has appeared in Wired, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.