Reference Model 3: Wave Point Absorber


The Reference Model Project (RMP), sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), was a partnered effort to develop open-source MHK point designs as reference models (RMs) to benchmark MHK technology performance and costs, and an open-source methodology for design and analysis of MHK technologies, including models for estimating their capital costs, operational costs, and levelized costs of energy. The point designs also served as open-source test articles for university researchers and commercial technology developers. The RMP project team, led by Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), included a partnership between DOE, three national laboratories, including the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the Applied Research Laboratory of Penn State University, and Re Vision Consulting.

Reference Model 3 (RM3) is a wave point absorber, also referred to as a wave power buoy, that was designed for a reference site located off the shore of Eureka in Humboldt County, California. The design of the device consists of a surface float that translates (oscillates) with wave motion relative to a vertical column spar buoy, which connects to a subsurface reaction plate. This two-body point absorber converts wave energy into electrical power predominately from the device?s heave oscillation induced by incident waves; the float is designed to oscillate up and down the vertical shaft up to 4 m. The bottom of the reaction plate is about 35 m below the water surface. The device is targeted for deployment in water depths of 40 m to 100 m. The point absorber is also connected to a mooring system to keep the floating device in position.

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Additional Info

DOE Project Name: Reference Model Project
DOE Project Number: FY13 AOP
DOE Project Lead: Jeff Rieks
Last Updated: 3 months ago
Data from September, 2014
Submission in progress


Sandia National Laboratories


In progress License 


Vince Neary
Sandia National Laboratories


MHK, Marine, Hydrokinetic, energy, power, RM3, reference model, point absorber, wec


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