The National Wind Technology Center is validating its first ever wave device for Columbia Power Technology.

Work at the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory is focused on the Stingray wave energy converter.

"Though designed to benefit the wind industry, the NWTC's large dynamometer facility is being leveraged to help advance new ocean energy technology," said director Daniel Laird. 

The Stingray uses floats and generators to convert the energy in ocean waves into electricity. 

"We are testing the Stingray at the NWTC because the core design is similar to a wind turbine — it is direct drive but with a very large diameter,” said Columbia Power Technologies chief executive Reenst Lesemann. 

The generator is as tall as a two-story building and is the largest generator ever tested in an NWTC dynamometer. Over the next few months, the unit will be connected to a controllable grid interface for electrical performance characterization. 

Validation comes ahead of a planned open-water demonstration in 2017 at the US Navy’s wave energy test site in Hawaii.

Image: a prototype of the Stingray device (Intermoor)