Ocean Energy Systems (OES) was founded on the premise that there are many coastal communities around the world that do not have adequate sources of clean drinking water. Many of those populations are adjacent to the oceans of the world. OES assembled a seasoned team to exploit the ocean waves to benefit coastal populations by producing potable water for human and animal consumption, and for irrigation. The assembled team has combined a unique experience in dealing with and alleviating water shortages by exploiting renewable energies.
It is the integration of proven, existing mechanical components, on which OES has focused its vision to provide a sustainable renewable energy product. The OES solution incorporates a floating articulated-barge system with a reverse-osmosis (RO) system to provide potable water. This method of wave-energy utilization has been shown to have a significantly higher conversion efficiency when compared to other wave-energy or marine hydrokinetic conversion techniques designed to produce electricity. It is the balance of limited environmental impact and high work output that is the focus of the optimization of the articulating barges to produce potable water. The articulated barge configuration designed to convert wave energy was well-demonstrated by two of the OES team members, Dr. Peter McCabe and Dr. Michael McCormick. The OES integrated approach is to draw on both the past experiences of its team members and their design efforts to produce the Articulated Wave Energy Convertor (AWEC) – a system designed to desalinate salt water by using the energy of ocean waves.
By using the available wave energy, the OES solution is to first pre-filter and then pressurize sea water for passage through osmotic membranes. The membranes separate most of the salt from the water, leaving the desired quality of water for drinking, irrigation or industrial use.
The OES solution, called the AWEC system, will enable coastal communities to generate quality drinking water. The challenge is to produce a system for demonstration so that there is a track record of harnessing and utilizing wave energy.
As with any pioneering effort, we must begin with the first step. The OES first step has been to produce the appropriate technical solution. The technologies that are required to execute the OES approach currently exist as stand-alone solutions. The articulated-barge approach for exploiting wave energy to produce a usable product has been demonstrated at full-scale by Drs. McCabe and McCormick.
Creating engineering integrated solutions that fulfill operational and environmental demands is what Robert Murtha has been doing his entire career. It is the engineering resources of Robert Murtha and the expertise of the assembled team, that have enabled the OES vision to remain on-course with the approach for using wave energy in the production of potable water. The resources of Robert Murtha have funded (a) the scale-up of integration and current construction of a full-scale prototype and (b) the permitting required for the deployment. These efforts are being done by Murtech Engineering under contract to OES.