HTS Linear Generators Slated for PowerBuoy Wave Energy Converters

Ocean Power Technologies, Inc (OPT) and Converteam Ltd. recently signed a Cooperation Agreement for the development of High Temperature Superconductor (HTS) Linear Generators for use in OPT’s PowerBuoy wave energy converters.

The vision of the two companies is the direct conversion of the linear up and down motion of waves into electricity using OPT’s PowerBuoy and Converteam‘s HTS linear generator. The proposed power take-off for the OPT PowerBuoy will employ Converteam’s innovative and proprietary linear generator system with high temperature superconductors to provide the magnetic field.

Life Cost Analysis predicts that the use of high temperature superconductors provides the necessary magnetic field at much lower cost and weight than conventional linear permanent magnet generators.

Dr. George W. Taylor, Chief Executive Officer of OPT, said: “A linear HTS generator installed in our PowerBuoys has the potential to deliver significant reductions in the cost of wave generated electricity. OPT is very excited about the prospects for the HTS technology.”

Under the agreement OPT and Converteam will jointly develop the technology on an exclusive basis for at least five years, including investigating commercial opportunities and potential customers for the HTS linear generator PowerBuoys.

Converteam Ltd’s Technology Director, Derek Grieve said: “Converteam already has ongoing HTS projects in hydro, marine and wind. These are all migrating to second generation HTS wire which has a much higher flux density, lower cost and operates at higher temperatures than first generation wires allowing the use of a cheap coolant medium. HTS is a truly disruptive technology the advantages of which will radically change wave energy capture. Converteam is looking forward to working with OPT on this exciting and challenging new project.”

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