Ocean Current Energy, LLC. Innovations for Distributed Hydrokinetic Power Generation

B. Heafitz, P. Mulvey
Ocean Current Energy, LLC.,
United States

Keywords: distributed generation, hydrokinetics, composite rotors, modular construction


Ocean Current Energy, LLC. (OCE) OCE is developing the world’s most versatile distributed generation hydrokinetic power technology utilizing a highly experienced management team. The company owns the core patents and is developing multi deployment platforms to market the core technology – SEACATS (Sea Caisson and Turbine System). OCE has taken state of the art material technologies and applied them to rotating blades (rotors) of marine turbines with integral generators thereby providing high power density generating systems. The company developed (SEACATS) by utilizing nested honeycombed caissons to form modular arrays generating approximately 200 kW depending on the size of the caisson(s) and the speed of the current. Each individual caisson is a self-contained unit which allows for a distribution of power and risk in case of failure. The array can be integrally installed in a floating barge, in a cradle under bridges or deployed alone within the water column. The OCE turbine is an injected moulded composite axial designed rotor which is composed of Kevlar, other composites and carbon fibre materials. Additionally, the light weight rotor enables efficient operation in slower currents than existing designs. Furthermore, its smaller size and honeycomb design permits deployment in higher speed currents that would destroy conventional tidal devices. This has been confirmed by computer analyses (Computational Fluid Dynamic or CFD) and by in-water tow tank tests. The SEACATS array can be suspended anywhere within the water column where the current is greatest to maximize power. The sum of these capabilities provides for distributed power generation systems applicable to a wider range of locations closer to the points of electrical demand. The next stage of OCE development will design a low cost working prototype of a portable power energy system with NGO and government customers. The company is also in discussions with one of the world’s largest industrial firms to integrate the SEACATS technology into its defense portfolio of products. OCE is also exploring several key partnerships with NGO’s and transport industries to market a commercial product priced at $2-5 million per MW (depending upon current speed) within two years. Management Team Chairman and CEO Bruce Heafitz Bruce has a Harvard BA and a Columbia MBA and LLB, and brings to the company forty years’ experience in investment banking, financial management, oil & gas, mergers and acquisitions and project start-ups. He was the Founder of Heafitz Widman, now named First Reserve. For the past 15 years he has been Chairman of SageStone (www.sagestonellc.com) developing wind and solar farms. President and CTO Patrick Mulvey Patrick has over 25 years’ experience in various senior executive management positions with Fortune 100 companies including General Electric, FedEx, and Cablevision Systems with significant P/L responsibilities. He has also been involved in start-up ventures in a variety of industries and for the last nine years with environmental companies including Blue Energy, a tidal energy company where he served as CEO.