One of the first public wave energy testing systems in the United States has begun operation off the Oregon coast, and will allow private industry or academic researchers to test new technology that may help advance this promising form of sustainable energy. The Ocean Sentinel is a device developed by Oregon State University. It’s a major step forward for the future of wave energy.

The Ocean Sentinel has been deployed off the Oregon Coast, one of the nation’s first wave energy testing devices. (Pat Kight/Oregon Sea Grant)
The creation of this mobile wave energy test facility has been needed for years, experts say, and it will be used by many companies and academic researchers in the quest to develop wave energy technology, measure and understand the wave resource, and study the energy output and other important issues.

Experts say that, unlike some alternative energy forms such as wind energy, it’s probable that no one technology will dominate the wave energy field. Some systems may work better in low wave settings; others with a more powerful resource. The Ocean Sentinel will be able to measure wave amplitude, device energy output, ocean currents, wind speeds, extremes of wave height, and other data. Wave energy can use large buoys that move up and down in ocean swells, or other technologies, to produce large and sustainable supplies of electricity.

Learn more about the facility at http://nnmrec.oregonstate.edu

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