USA: Battelle, Levant Power Corporation Plan to Develop Ocean Power Harvesters


Battelle and Levant Power Corporation jointly announced today the two companies plan to develop and commercialize wave energy harvesting technology for ocean systems.  Providing consistent, uninterrupted power to sensors, vehicles and communications systems for ocean borne-devices is an industry-wide challenge. Battelle and Levant say that challenge can be overcome by OceanGen power units which could facilitate expansive deployment of advanced and innovative ocean-borne devices.

“The Navy and commercial markets have identified the delivery of new sources of underwater power as critical over the next decade,” said Steve Kelly, President of Battelle’s National Security Global Business.  “The commercialization and deployment of OceanGen will herald a new era of advanced sensors and real-time awareness across a broad spectrum of applications.”

The first two phases of the program will involve development and a technology demonstration. Levant and Battelle plan to jointly manufacture the OceanGen system. Around the globe, thousands of buoys, sea-floor-mounted and floating platforms derive nominal power from solar cells, battery packs, and in extreme cases, diesel generators.  The severely limited available energy, which currently comes in unreliable intermittent bursts, means real-time status for sensitive communication systems is greatly compromised.

The first OceanGen systems are targeted at weather buoys, oil and gas platforms, research platforms and military applications requiring 50-100 watts of power, although future systems will have applications ranging from naval C4ISR systems to marine navigation and sensor platforms.  Importantly, this technology can scale up to the kilowatt range, if required.

The work will supplement ongoing development within both organizations. Battelle currently is a world-leader in sensors, materials, and anti-bio-fouling techniques. Levant Power is a leader in hydraulic energy harvesting and ocean-energy technologies and has been actively developing OceanGen for the last year.

“The technical program will focus on reducing costs, extending service intervals, improving system efficiency, and leveraging Battelle’s expertise in designing for the ocean environment to make a long-term durable product,” said Clive Tucker, Levant Power Chief Design Engineer.

About Battelle
As the world’s largest independent research and development organization, Battelle provides innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing needs through its four global businesses:  Laboratory Management, National Security, Energy Technology, and Health and Life Sciences.  It advances scientific discovery and application by conducting $6.5 billion in global R&D annually through contract research, laboratory management and technology commercialization.  Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Battelle oversees 22,000 employees in more than 130 locations worldwide, including seven national laboratories which Battelle manages or co-manages for the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and a nuclear energy lab in the United Kingdom.

About Levant Power Corporation
Levant Power is the world leader in suspension energy harvesting. The company is developing and commercializing breakthrough suspension energy recovery technology, GenShock®, and has demonstrated simultaneous semi-active ride control and on-board electrical generation. Founded out of MIT by a team of engineers in 2008, the company is growing rapidly and is now working with leading domestic and international manufacturers to tailor GenShock for defense, trucking, transit buses, rail, passenger vehicles, industrial and marine applications.
Source: Battelle, April 15, 2011