Device Riding at Proper Waterline, Producing Power
Since the initial WET-NZ deployment on August 23, conditions at the project site have ranged from glassy and calm to windy with wave heights as much as 3-meters. The past few days have been very energetic, which has helped complete the initial break-in and seating of the main bearings on the device. As a result, the WET-NZ is now sitting at its design waterline and the float is moving as expected.
Yesterday, Justin Klure and Steve Kopf visited the site to conduct visual inspections and take video of the device a variety of loading conditions. The WET-NZ power generation system is working as designed and is generating 3-phase power, which is being delivered to the load banks on the Ocean Sentinel. Terry Lettenmaier, a NNMREC researcher monitoring the WET-NZ, was able to vary the resistive load of the Ocean Sentinel while measuring all key performance parameters. This data was time synchronized to the video and will be analyzed to help optimize the performance of the WET-NZ and inform future development of an adaptive control system.
An inspection of the WET-NZ mooring system was conducted as well, and the depth of the subsurface floats was measured. The water was quite clear, and the lettering on the floats could be read even at a depth of 18-feet. The umbilical cable was inspected as well, and no signs of chafing or deterioration were observed.
Over the next few weeks, we will continue collecting as much data as possible over a wide range of wave and electrical loading conditions. Stay tuned for more updates from a little patch of ocean just west of Newport, Oregon, home of the WET-NZ and the Ocean Sentinel.