Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) says that a $1M funding award from the US government will enable it to make its wave energy devices more efficient and economically competitive.

The US-based firm is planning to improve the performance and reduce the cost of its PowerBuoy wave energy systems by changing the design of mechanical components. It believes that the design changes will improve the prospects of the device as it looks toward manufacturing in commercial volumes.

Under the award OPT will evaluate alternative designs for the PowerBuoy’s float and spar, which account for about half of the system’s mass, to optimize their geometry, materials used, power output, manufacturability, durability and handling.

The process will include structural analysis, power output and load evaluations, and cost modeling using simulations as well as wave tank tests.

The optimised designs will be incorporated into the PowerBuoy product line.