USDOE, USDA funding renewable energy tech, projects


The departments of energy and agriculture of the US government have announced funding for renewable energy technology and projects.

The US Department of Energy (USDOE) has announced funding of $7.4 million for technology development to four marine and hydrokinetic systems companies.

the US department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced $63 million in loans and grants for 264 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects around the nation. reports that DOE is to fund the four companies to work on projects that will address technical challenges in advanced controls, crosscutting power take-off (PTO) and innovative structures.

Sacramento-based Re Vision Consulting will work on advance control in collaboration with Ocean Energy USA, Resolute Marine Energy, CalWave, Dresser-Rand, Navigant Consulting, and University of Michigan.

The system to be developed is expected to help predict ocean conditions and adjust device settings to optimize power production. It will be designed to work with three types of wave energy converter (WEC) devices: the OE buoy developed by Ocean Energy USA, the Surge WEC device developed by Resolute Marine Energy, and the Wave Carpet developed at CalWave.

Virginia Tech will work on PTO in collaboration with Resolute Marine Energy, Energy Harvesting Technology, THK America, and National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The team will is expected to develop a mechanical solution to convert from alternating current to direct current power.

The technology should be able to transform the back-and-forth movement caused by waves into a single-directional movement to more efficiently capture wave energy, the report says.

Dehlsen Associates, in Santa Barbara, California, will work on developing a linear generator capable of supplying a WEC device with power to implement advanced controls.

The company is collaborating with Helios Engineering, Wedge Global, Oregon State University, Time-Variable Systems, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on the project.

By actively controlling the timing between the force and velocity on the WEC device, the team will be able to improve efficiency of the device.

And Pennsylvania State University is working on innovative structures for harvesting tidal energy in collaboration with Verdant Power.

The team will develop low-cost, single-piece, three-blade composite turbines with integrated “health management” technology.

The health management system would apply diagnostic and predictive technology to evaluate the health of mechanical and electrical systems during operation. It would also give alerts on component or system faults ahead of failure.

In the other development, the USDA is funding clean energy projects under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).

The projects are expected to generate and/or save 207.8 million kilowatt hours (KWh) of energy, which should be adequate to power more than 13,600 homes annually.

According to a report, the REAP funds can be used to make energy efficiency improvements or install renewable energy systems, including solar, wind, renewable biomass (including anaerobic digesters), small hydroelectric, ocean energy, hydrogen and geothermal.

The USDA has set application deadline for REAP grants is November 2.

Ajith Kumar S