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Kailua, HI, United States

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 449.14K | Year: 2008

OTEC is a clean, renewable energy resource capable of producing nationally-significant quantities of hydrogen in at-sea floating plants located in warm, tropical water. During phase I, Makai has developed an analytical model to technically balance and financially evaluate a large-scale OTEC-driven hydrogen (or alternate fuel) plant and industry. This computer tool technically links and balances system components while providing resulting total costs. The model has been used as a means of comparison between the OTEC-hydrogen path and competitive hydrogen paths such as coal, natural gas, and nuclear. It was concluded in phase I that OTEC is both a technically and economically feasible hydrogen production pathway, it has the potential to be cost competitive with other renewable technologies and should be considered a legitimate player in a future hydrogen economy. The principle efforts in phase II will be to expand on the OTEC-hydrogen model developed in Phase I, develop a conceptual design of a large at-sea plant to supply hydrogen (or alternate fuels) for the US Navy or civilian users, and provide strong technical and economic evaluation and justification (if merited) for this energy source in the near future.

Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.79K | Year: 2009

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) has the potential of supplying large quantities of renewable electrical power to U.S. island communities in tropical waters. Large OTEC plants can be economical if they are (1) offshore floating plants that can be mass produced and (2) capable of providing at least 100MW in capacity. Today, no electrical transmission cables can deliver this power to shore under the extreme depths, high voltage, and dynamic conditions of a floating, dynamically moving OTEC Structure. The cable must endure high tensions due to its depth, continued motions due to the movement of the OTEC plant, and motions relative to the seabed at touchdown. Although commercial submarine power cables exist for high power in shallow water, and for low power for dynamic applications, none provide the combination of high power and high voltage in deep and dynamically moving water. This project will develop such a cable, enabling OTEC power plants to be a viable source of alternative energy. In Phase I, the design of a submarine power cable will be initiated by combining designs for electrical transmission from the OTEC plant to the shore, for the overall global configuration of the cable, and for cable installation. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee:A submarine high-voltage power cable system for dynamic, deep ocean conditions would enable Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) to supply renewable electrical energy to tropical areas (Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico, DOD bases).

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 80.00K | Year: 2015

Makai proposes to complete a parametric analysis of candidate sonobuoy components for a conceptual deep drifting sonobuoy system. These results will enable the Navy to perform a tradeoff analysis of the sonobuoy system to meet their operational requirements and form-factor constraint. Using Navy-supplied location data, Makai will characterize the ocean environment in the area of operation and use Navy 4D temporal ocean current models as input to a hydro-mechanical numerical model to evaluate the dynamic loads on the different sonobuoy components (especially on the long and thin tether) will be compared to the manufacturer-specified component limits. The drift of single and multi-buoys over 30 days will be observed, as the acoustic coverage is an important metric for the Navy. The goal of this parametric study is to characterize how various component parameters (e.g., tether diameter, sizes, drag, weights, specific gravities): 1) affect individual sonobuoy space and weight; 2) perform against the system 30-day operational requirement and form-factor constraint; and, 3) influence single and multi-buoy geometry and barrier drift.

Makai Ocean Engineering, Inc. | Date: 2012-08-01

The various embodiments provide a power-generating plant including a dynamic floating platform that is configured to efficiently produce 100 MW of power using a honeycomb configuration of mist lift cells. The mist lift columns are configured to optimize performance and to adjust configurations of components to compensate for changes in orientation of the platform and temperature of sea water in order to manage power output of the plant.

Makai Ocean Engineering, Inc. | Date: 2013-10-04

A pipe attachment assembly for attaching a pipe to another structure so stresses are reduced within the assembly includes a sleeve positioned outside the pipe which is composed of a material stronger than the pipe material, and an elastomeric bonding material which fills a gap between the pipe and the sleeve. The elastomeric bonding material transfers forces which are externally imposed on the pipe to the sleeve. This reduces bending, compression, tension, or torsion of the pipe in response to external forces, which in turn reduces the risk of a pipe failure at or near the termination or a breach where the pipe forms a joint with other pipes or containers. Various configurations may further improve the transfer of shearing stresses from the pipe to the sleeve, for example varying the width and/or the shear modulus of the elastomeric bonding material along the length of the pipe.

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