CalWave Power Technologies

Berkeley, CA

Team Photo for CalWave Power Technologies

Date Accepted

Mon 11 May 2015

Combined Score

6.4 (Technology Gate 2}

Team Info

The CalWave Power Technologies team will be led by Marcus Lehmann.

WEC Device Type

CalWave Power Technologies is entering a submerged pressure differential device in the Wave Energy Prize.

Team Quote

Coastal areas are the major target for global migration and half of the US population lives within 50 miles of the coastlines. Wave Energy is a great complementary renewable resource to the other forms of renewable energy and our mission is to provide a solution to access this enormous amount of renewable energy.

Team Bios

Using his extensive experience in product development and background in industry, Marcus leads a diverse team of engineers, business development specialists, advisers, and industry partners around the CalWave project.

Team Members:

Thomas Boerner is a PhD candidate from the TU Hamburg-Harburg working together with the CalWave team at UC Berkeley. During his mechanical engineering studies at RWTH Aachen University, Thomas already worked with the CalWave team and wrote his Master’s thesis on PTO modeling of the CalWave WEC using a hybrid modeling framework. Next to his M.Sc. degree in mechanical engineering with focus on energy technologies, Thomas also holds an additional M.Sc. degree in business and economics.

Bryan Murray - B.Sc. Electrical Engineering - After undergraduate studies in Electrical Engineering at Virginia Tech with a focus on naval systems, Bryan worked for two years with NOAA’s Coast Survey Development Lab to develop and test oceanographic sensor systems. He will contribute expertise in rugged electronic systems and experience in experimental marine operations.

Nigel Kojimoto, M.Sc. MIT - Nigel graduated this past spring with his Masters in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. He is focusing his efforts on the mechanical design of CalWave’s WEP submission

Prof. Alam, Theoretical & Applied Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley: Born in Yazd, a small historic city at the geographic center of Iran, Reza received his BSc in Mechanical Engineering and MSc in Applied Mechanics from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran. He then joined the Mechanical Engineering program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA. He received his Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 2005, Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering in 2008, and then served as a Postdoctoral associate (2008-2009) and Lecturer (2009-2011) at MIT. In July 2011 Reza joined the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, CA, as an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Cyclotron Road: Cyclotron Road is a home for top entrepreneurial researchers to advance technologies until they can succeed beyond the research lab. Our purpose: support critical technology development and help identify the most suitable business models, partners, and financing mechanisms for long-term impact.

Advisers and Collaborators:

Prof. Evan Variano: Engineering Lab for Fluid Motion in the Environment (ELFME)

BMT Designers & Planners

Since 1953, BMT Designers & Planners has been providing vessel design, engineering, and consulting services to a wide range of government agencies and commercial customers. BMT offers solutions across numerous related marine industry specialties, including concept and detail design, program management, integrated logistics, environmental services, and shipyard support. The firm routinely works with vessel owners, operators, governments, shipyards, and technical specialists to deliver high-value tailored services that exceed customer and industry expectations.


RobotShop -

CalWave Power Technologies welcomes ANSYS as an official sponsor to support our team with full access to their leading engineering software and engineering support.

More details at:

Additionally, we want to welcome JKI as a sponsor and partner of CalWave Power Technologies. JKI’s world-renowned product development experts are specialized in helping companies build large-scale commercial, mission-critical applications primarily in LabVIEW.

More details at:


Coming out of research from UC Berkeley, CalWave Power Technologies is collaborating with the Theoretical and Applied Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (TAFLab) and the the LBNL Cyclotron Road Program.

Learn more about CalWave Power Technologies at their website:

  • CalWave thanks supporters as Prize winds down

    Posted on Mon 21 Nov 2016

    First and foremost, our team wants to thank leadership of DOE’s water program for initiating and organizing this prize and their ongoing support to the MHK industry. This Prize would have not been possible without the prize organization team, the judges, and the support and expertise from the national labs from designing the rules to the support of the data analysts supervising the last measurement in the tank.

    The 3rd party supervision of the tank testing made this prize a one of its kind and here we want to thank the team at the University of Iowa specifically Troy Lyons, Yugo Sanada, Frederick Stern and Hyunse Yoon, and the University of Maine specifically Anthony Viselli and the rest of his team.

    At the MASK test facility, we want to express our especial thank you to David Newborn and his team for the thorough preparation together months in advance and all their support through out the testing. It was a special honor for us to be invited to test in such a prestigious facility and we’re looking forward to using the collected data to improve our technology even further.

    We want to express our deepest gratitude to our collaborators, industry partners, and sponsors starting with Prof. Reza Alam, Joel Tchufag and the entire team at Taflab at UC Berkeley for their support, and also especially all our undergraduates and interns for the long hours in the machine shop.

    Additionally, we want to thank the Cyclotron Road team and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for their mentorship and all other mentors supporting us along the way.

    We want to thank the Bardex Corporation and here especially – Bruce Caldwell and Robert Taylor for all the constructive discussions and their support in designing and optimizing our full scale system. Thanks to Javier Ruiz and Jim Kring from JKI for their valuable support on our Labview integration. Cruz Atcheson Consulting, BMT Designers and Planners, Ansys, the RobotShop, Innosea, and Hirschfeld Fabrications for their contributions.

    We want to congratulate the other teams for entering the competition and contributing to the progress of the industry. The level of competition and surrounding expertise was very high and we are fortunate that we were able to meet so many talented technology developers in the course of the prize. Our team is excited about this milestone of the US wave energy industry and with the help of this prize, we are looking forward to continue this joint effort together on our path to a clean energy future where millions of US homes are powered by the endless energy of our ocean.

    Our special thanks go to all our current and former team members and contributors:

    Daniel Sadlier, Christian Windt, Devin Bisconner, Sean Luna, Kevin Cochrane, Jack Guo, Michael Kelley, Kabir Abiose, Andreas Hofer, Ryan Cosner, Nicolas Desmars, Nithin Jose, Soheil Esmaeilzadeh, Ennzhi Chew, Jackelyne Nguyen for all their support during our development, the unknown donor of NI module, Kafryn Lieder for her reviews and comments, Tom Avery, Diana and Arjun Divecha for their help.

    Thank you,

    Thomas, Bryan, Nigel and Marcus

    Calwave Power Technologies receiving their award at Wave Energy Prize Technology Showcase
    Calwave Power Technologies receiving their award at Wave Energy Prize Technology Showcase

  • CalWave completed testing and reviewing next steps

    Posted on Fri 23 Sep 2016

    After a week of thorough preparation, CalWave Power Technologies completed a successfully week of 1/20th model testing at the MASK basin. Our team was impressed with the Carderock facility and the knowledge and experience of the staff and Prize committee, we had the privilege of working with. It was exciting to observe our prototype in the various Prize specified wave conditions, especially the realistic wave cases and want to thank the facility for the high quality photo and video documentation during this hectic week of testing.

    We are currently in the process of reviewing preliminary data from testing as we plan our next steps with industry partners and are excited to analyze the complete data set when it becomes available. At the same time, we started to reflect on everything we were able to accomplish and all of the hard work from numerous individuals that made it possible in the given time frame of the prize. As we await the final results of the Prize, we would like to wish all other teams the best of luck!

    Preparing for testing in the MASK basin
    Preparing for testing in the MASK basin
    Pre-deployment in the basin
    Pre-deployment in the basin

  • CalWave looking forward to testing at Carderock

    Posted on Fri 19 Aug 2016

    After exciting months of finalizing our design and simulations, manufacturing and pretesting of our 1/20 scale prototype at the University of Maine, CalWave has shipped the final prototype to MASK and completed all other final deliverables for the Wave Energy Prize.

    Our team is now looking forward to the final testing at Carderock and wants to thank all our supporters, collaborators and partners that helped us to get to that stage!

  • CalWave finalizing device for shipment

    Posted on Fri 15 Jul 2016

    After completion of our pretesting and the positive notification of advancing to Technology Gate 4, CalWave is finalizing its 1/20 scale prototype for shipment.

    The results of the pretesting is used to further validate our numerical model and control strategy.

    Our team is looking forward to the final testing at MASK.

  • CalWave currently pre-testing their 1/20 scale device at the University of Maine

    Posted on Thu 16 Jun 2016

    CalWave has completed the component manufacturing and Technology Gate 3 submission and is currently pre-testing the 1/20 scale prototype.

    The team here at the University of Maine is very helpful and our team had the great opportunity to be part of a story about the facility recorded by the Discovery Channel.

  • CalWave Power Technologies completes 1/20th scale device for testing

    Posted on Fri 10 Jun 2016

    CalWave has completed the design and manufacturing of its 1/20 scale prototype for the US Wave Energy Prize Finalist round and is finalizing our TG3 submission.

    We want to thank our manufacturing partners and supporters for their help during this process.

    Our team is now looking forward to pre-testing of the completed 1/20 scale prototype next week.

  • CalWave attends Team Summit and moves ahead on 1/20 scale prototype

    Posted on Mon 16 May 2016

    After attending the team summit and great conference, our team had the chance to visit the MASK test facility and discuss practical details of the upcoming testing.

    Additionally, we are progressing in the design and manufacturing of our 1/20 scale prototype, instrumentation and details of the test plan.

  • CalWave Power Technologies shares video and responds to prize related questions

    Posted on Fri 15 Apr 2016

    Watch the CalWave Power Technologies April update video:

    CalWave responds to questions asked of the competing teams:

    Why are you participating in the Prize?

    Wave power is the third largest renewable resource after wind and solar with the advantage of higher predictability and power density.
    The main goal of the US Wave Energy Prize is double the state of the art economic performance of Wave Power and we want to contribute to that mission in order to secure a sustainable and independent energy supply for the coming generations. Similar to the competition in the US that the Pelton turbine won in 1883 for the most efficient water wheel turbine and that is been in use till today, the US Wave Energy Prize can help to move the entire industry and state of the art forward. It’s the first time in history that multiple wave power technologies are all compared in the same scale and testing conditions by a third party with special focus on economic performance.

    What do you think the role of government in driving innovation is?

    Similar to the duty of our generation of engineers to developed new solutions, it is the duty of the government to support this effort. Sustainable and independent energy is a critical infrastructure challenge that is driving the entire countries economy. If we look back who were the critical players to help wind and solar power to mature to its current stage, the governments and their incentives played a critical role in adoption and scaling of these technologies.

    What have you learned about WECs since participating in the Prize?

    The structure of the prize and feedback of the judges was very valuable and we continued to design based on first principles. Our most valuable learning was to be able to design for the entire life cycle of a converter and economics as the main design specification. We learned how strongly design changes effect the entire system life cycle and how interconnected all aspects and parameters are.

    What are your plans if you win the Prize?

    The prize would allow us to continue to further our technology to support DOE’s mission to help wave electricity generation systems achieve a Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) target of 15 c/kWh by 2030.

    What words of advice and encouragement do you have for the remaining teams in the Prize?

    We all have the shared larger mission to develop an economically viable solution to secure us a sustainable and independent energy mix in the future allowing high percentage of renewable power generation. In the mist of the competitive nature of the prize and market, we should step back once in a while and remind ourselves about that fact.

  • CalWave prepares for the final testing

    Posted on Tue 22 Mar 2016

    CalWave wants to thank the judges for their valuable feedback on our Technology Gate 2 submission as well as the US Wave Energy Prize for their support to develop the 1/20 scale prototype. Our team is excited about the unique opportunity to test our device at a larger scale in an outstanding facility such as the U.S. Navy’s Maneuvering and Seakeeping Basin (MASK) facility in Carderock, MD.

    Our team has started to execute our 1/20 scale build plan in collaboration with our partners and advisers incorporating the feedback and results from the 1/50 scale testing as well as the new requirements of the Technology Gate 3 and 4 of the prize rules. Collecting detailed data on the performance and behavior of our device in controlled spectral sea tests will be of great help to further optimize our device and validate our controls and further unique device features!

    We are looking forward to design and build our 1/20 scale prototype during the next Technology Gate and hope that all teams enjoy this opportunity as much as CalWave does!

    Please meet us in person at the Wave Energy Prize Showcase during the 2016 NHA Waterpower Week in Washington, April 25-27 and visit us online at

  • CalWave completes testing at the University of Iowa

    Posted on Tue 02 Feb 2016

    CalWave has successfully completed the 1/50 scale tank tests and wants to thank the entire IIHR team from the University of Iowa for their hospitality and great collaboration as well as the US Wave Energy Prize for the invitation and supporting our testing efforts in Iowa.

    Impressions from the last test day can be found at the attached link.

    After last details of the Project Plan and Bill of Material for our 1/20 scale build plan have been finalized, our team is focusing now on furthering our control strategy and collaborations with our industrial partners.

    CalWave Team
    CalWave Team

DISCLAIMER: The team information provided on this page is provided solely by CalWave Power Technologies. The Wave Energy Prize is not responsible for its accuracy, legality, decency of material or intellectual-property compliance.

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EERE. Wave Energy Prize. U.S. Department of Energy. Jul, 2018, 13:24 EST. Available at: Accessed Jul, 2018.

EERE. "Wave Energy Prize." U.S. Department of Energy, July. 2018. Web. July. 2018.

EERE. "Wave Energy Prize,", U.S. Department of Energy, (accessed Jul, 2018).

EERE. Wave Energy Prize [Internet].; 2018 July, 13:24 EST [cited 2018 July]. Available from:

@ONLINE{U.S. Department of Energy:2018:Online, author = {EERE}, title = {Wave Energy Prize [email protected]}}, year = {2018}, url = {}, note = [Online; accessed Jul-2018] }