Final Report: Ocean Wave Energy Harvester with a Novel Power Takeoff Mechanism

EPA Grant Number: SU835532
Title: Ocean Wave Energy Harvester with a Novel Power Takeoff Mechanism
Investigators: Zuo, Lei , Liang, Changwei , Lee, Hwan , Ai, Junxiao , Chang, Risa
Institution: The State University of New York at Stony Brook
EPA Project Officer: Packard, Benjamin H
Phase: I
Project Period: August 15, 2013 through August 14, 2014
Project Amount: $15,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2013) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Air Quality , P3 Challenge Area - Safe and Sustainable Water Resources , P3 Awards , Sustainable and Healthy Communities


With the shortage of global energy, it’s highly necessary to exploit alternative renewable energy sources beyond fossil oil, nuclear, solar and wind energy. Oceans, fantastic places gave birth to all creatures in this world, are now offering us another vast but untapped treasure—ocean wave energy. The potential for electricity generation from ocean wave energy in the US is estimated to be 64% of the total electricity generated from all sources in 2010. Over 53% of the US population lives within 50 miles of the coast (NOAA), so ocean waves offer ready opportunity for harvesting power. However, wave energy harvesting is still in its infancy worldwide. The objective of this project is to develop an innovative technology of ocean wave energy harvesting with advantage of high efficiency and reliability. Different from the state-of-the-arts ocean wave converters, we are going to adopt an innovative power takeoff mechanism named mechanical motion rectifier (MMR), which will directly convert the irregular oscillatory wave motion into regular unidirectional rotation of the generator. It marries the advantages of the direct and indirect-drive power takeoff methods, with a much higher energy conversion efficiency and enhanced reliability and compactness. What’s more important, this novel power takeoff design can be easily applied to most kinds of wave energy converters (WEC) which are already exist or under construction. Therefore, if our design is widely adopted, the efficiency of today’s WEC will be greatly improved, which will pave a sustainable pathway of making ocean wave resources a practical sustainable renewable energy. With this proposed project, we hope to foster progress toward sustainability by achieving the mutual goals of economic prosperity, protection of the planet, and improved quality of life for its people –people, prosperity, and the planet – the three goals of the EPA P3 program.

Summary/Accomplishments (Outputs/Outcomes):

During Phase I period, the manufacturing of a 500W prototype has been finished, lab test has been conducted. According to the test results, we found that the power take- off system has achieved the expected working performance. The proposed mechanism of mechanical motion rectifier is functioning well in transmitting the reciprocating motion into unidirectional rotation. The output voltage is high enough in the tests.


In phase I, we designed a novel mechanism of MMR in ocean wave energy harvester design. The mechanical motion rectifier can change the oscillating motion into unidirectional rotation, which makes it perfect for harvesting wave motion. Prototyping has been finished and lab test is conducted. From the hand-drive test we can see the system is working smoothly and effectively, with output power as high as 150 watts. Some preliminary theoretical results were obtained to guide the design for next step.

Journal Articles on this Report : 1 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other project views: All 3 publications 1 publications in selected types All 1 journal articles
Type Citation Project Document Sources
Journal Article Xie J, Zuo L. Dynamics and control of ocean wave energy converters. International Journal of Dynamics and Control 2013;1(3):262-276.
abstract available   full text available
SU835532 (Final)
  • Full-text: Springer-Full Text HTML
  • Abstract: Springer-Abstract
  • Other: Springer-Full Text PDF
  • Supplemental Keywords:

    ocean wave energy, energy harvesting, alternative energy source, renewable energy

    Relevant Websites:

    Facebook: SUNY Stony Brook- Poseidon Exit

    P3 Phase II:

    Ocean Wave Energy Harvester with a Novel Power Takeoff Mechanism  | 2015 Progress Report  | Final Report