US Navy invests $8m in marine energy

The US Navy is investing $8 million (£5m) to develop marine energy technologies for use at its facilities worldwide. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) has awarded a four-year contract […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The US Navy is investing $8 million (£5m) to develop marine energy technologies for use at its facilities worldwide.

The Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) has awarded a four-year contract to the University of Washington (UW) to help develop tools for the Navy to predict and tap wave and tidal energy at its marine locations.

Researchers have so far made 3D printed prototypes of tidal turbines that will be tested in the university’s water channel, following which they will pick the “most promising” designs and build larger-scale models to test in moving water in 2016.

Lead investigator Andrew Stewart, an engineer at the UW’s Applied Physics Laboratory said: “The idea is to conduct the research that’s needed to fill the gap between where the technology is now and where it needs to be for the Navy to take maximum advantage of the currents, tides and waves, as well as wind.

“Really what we’re trying to do is develop a new sector of the maritime industry.”

The US Navy has committed to get half of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.