DOE awards $1.6 million to MAE-led research

The Department of Energy (DOE) Water Power Technologies Office announced in late July that a project being headed by MAE researchers will be awarded more than $1.5 million as a part of an initiative to support research that will accelerate development and testing of marine energy technologies.

Dr. Matthew Bryant is the lead principal investigator for the project, titled  “Co-Design of the Pumping System and Controller for a Mobile, Anchorless, Wave-Powered Desalination Platform.” The project is a collaborative effort between Bryant, former MAE professor Chris Vermillion from the University of Michigan, Hosam Fathy from the University of Maryland, and Scott Willcox from Liquid Robotics.  

According to the announcement from the DOE, this project will transform Liquid Robotics’ autonomous, uncrewed Wave Glider into a mobile, anchor-less desalination platform.

“The objective of this research is to develop an integrated piston pump, reverse osmosis (RO) unit, tank, and corresponding mission planning and control system to enable the Liquid Robotics Wave Glider to serve as a mobile, anchorless desalination platform,” the project’s abstract states. “Ultimately, the resulting system will enable rapid deployment from a near-shore location, desalination of up to 1000 gallons of water, return to the near-shore deployment location for offloading of desalinated water, and immediate redeployment.”

The project is one of seven that will be awarded a piece of the $10 million from the DOE, alongside projects from Binghamton University; Florida Atlantic University; Oneka Technologies USA; Sea Potential, LLC; Water Bros Desalination, LLC. 

Click here to visit the DOE announcement and read more about each of these innovative projects.

“Marine energy technologies have incredible potential to provide clean electricity as well as clean water,” Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Alejandro Moreno said in the announcement. “These projects represent DOE’s first significant investment in marine energy serving the blue economy market, and will advance technologies that can meet these needs and help achieve President Biden’s goal of a net-zero-emissions economy by 2050.”

These projects were selected as part of WPTO’s Marine Energy Systems Innovation at Sea funding opportunity. Click here to learn more about this and other water power funding opportunities.