Sea Discovery

WAVE Power Device Shows Promise

Following a three-month demonstration of Minnesota-based energy technology company Independent Natural Resources Inc.'s (INRI) SEADOG Pump system, researchers from the Texas A&M University at Galveston Marine Engineering Technology Department released a report validating the performance and output of the technology.
The report, which focused on a SEADOG Pump installed off the Galveston, Texas coast in the Gulf of Mexico, analyzed the pump's performance from July 2007 to November 2007, tracking all weather conditions from calm days to the Category 1 force of Hurricane Humberto.
"Most of the wave energy conversion devices developed to date experience one of many potential problems due to factors such as initial cost, operating cost, long rate of return, installation, and operational and maintenance issues mostly due to the highly-complex nature of structural and anchoring demands for the units. However, when considering the SEADOG Pump, which was conceptualized and developed by INRI, most of the above mentioned potential problems are not present which can be credited to the simple design of the SEADOG Pump. This further implies that this device has the potential to become a good alternative energy conversion device that can be easily fabricated, deployed and maintained. Compared to other wave energy conversion devices developed to date, the SEADOG Pump has a good potential to become a functionally marketable machine in the near future," said Frank Warnakulasuriya, Ph.D., assistant department head, Marine Engineering Technology, Texas A&M University at Galveston.
Dr. Warnakulasuriya also said in the report that the, "Overall effectiveness of the SEADOG Pump as a pump which converts ocean wave energy was around 22 percent and is a very promising value for a demonstration machine. The solid fact for this argument is that most of the highly engineered and well-improved wave energy converters pretty much show similar values. The possibility of improving the SEADOG Pump to work at an overall effectiveness in the range of 45 to 55 percent is visible."
In the report, researchers praised the pump's design features for good mechanical efficiency that absorbs most of the potential energy and a significant amount of the kinetic energy content in the wave. This report further validates findings from a 21-day sea trial conducted in January of 2007 that compares the amount of energy SEADOG Pump can extract per square mile of deployment compared to other ocean, wind and solar renewable technologies. Because the pumps can be deployed in close proximity to each other, INRI estimates that they will produce five to 20 times more power per square mile than other technologies.
SEADOG Difference
SEADOG Pump uses a simple pump design with few moving parts and no electronics. Multiple pumps are deployed in fields depending on how much power or water is desired. In addition, the SEADOG Pump moves large volumes of water to shore where it can be stored until needed for energy production or desalination. This ability to store energy removes the intermittency issues associated with other renewable energy technologies.
"We're incredibly pleased with the report findings," said Mark A. Thomas, CEO, INRI(TM). "In the global race to find safe, efficient, renewable energy sources, the ocean waves have shown great promise, but have yet to be harnessed due to a number of challenging issues. The SEADOG Pump addresses these issues and has proven, as this study shows, that it's possible to extract this energy at a low cost, with the highest levels of efficiency and greater benefit to humankind."

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