Waveswing America

Sacramento, CA

Team Photo for Waveswing America

Date Accepted

Mon 29 Jun 2015

Combined Score

5.1 (Technology Gate 2}

Team Info

Waveswing America will be led by Mirko Previsic.

Waveswing America seeks to demonstrate the benefits of sub-sea pressure-differential point absorber wave power generators for the production of utility scale power from offshore ocean sites. The team will build on significant past research work to deliver a device with un-rivalled economics, power-density and efficiency. With potential ratings of 500kW and above, our device offers true potential for large-scale economic wave power delivery when deployed in arrays.

Our team combines entrepreneurial start-up drive with deep operational experience in the marine environment and is supported by associates with unrivaled experience in wave energy.

WEC Device Type

Sub-sea pressure-differential point-absorber

Team Quote

40 years of wave energy research has taught us that the challenge for wave energy is not to invent yet another variant of known absorption modes, but to solve the engineering challenges of providing a cost-effective and survivable solution. Our technology takes a highly efficient point-absorber concept and combines this with efficient linear generator technology and advanced control algorithms to maximise yield, whilst eliminating components and failure modes through systems engineering.

We believe that demonstrating the potential of this technology through participating in the Wave Energy Prize will benefit the whole wave energy sector.

Team Bios

Mirko Previsic has over 15 year of experience with the design, evaluation, and optimization of renewable power generation systems, theoretical modeling, resource assessments, and feasibility studies with a focus on marine renewable energy systems. Mr. Previsic holds a degree in electrical engineering and is a recognized industry expert in ocean energy technology. His primary interests are in the computational optimization of marine energy systems using system dynamic models and techno-economic approaches.

Simon Grey – Engineering support; A professional engineer with 30 years of experience in power generation, renewables and new technology of which 12 spent in wave power. Simon has led the development of the Waveswing™ device to date.

Jude Monson – Commercial and IP support; A commercial manager with 12 years of experience in renewable energy and new technology development of which 5 spent in wave power. Jude has supported the development of the Waveswing™ technology and managed the commercial and IP strategies for that time.


Learn more about Waveswing America at their website: www.awsocean.com

  • Waveswing America gives thanks

    Posted on Wed 23 Nov 2016

    As we reflect on our recent 3rd ranking in the wave energy competition, we are deeply grateful for all the amazing support from all of our partners and colleagues. A key benefit of working with such an outstanding team was that we were able to improve our ACE metric by more than ten-fold over the course of the 1-year competition. This included: (1) Changing the mooring design, (2) optimizing the device structure changing the design from steel to fiber reinforced plastics, and (3) Implementation of three different control strategies in the computational domain that showed a performance upside potential of 2x over the current status. Without our teams relentless efforts, none of these improvements would have been possible:

    1. Mirko Previsic – who led the team to success bringing his deep insights in techno-economic optimization of WEC devices to the table, including the structural design and controls optimization.

    2. Simon & Jude from AWS energy – our primary Scottish partners. They brought in the technology and a deep background and design-intuition on this device having been involved with it’s development for a long time.

    3. Johannes Spinneken who played a critical role during the tank testing campaign.

    4. Anantha Karthikeyan – a member of the team at Re Vision Consulting, who worked on the controls optimization and numerical simulation work leading to a potential performance improvement of 2-3X.

    5. Ajay Mathew – a summer intern who helped us during the tank testing campaign with post-processing of data.

    6. Jeff Scruggs at University of Michigan who developed an optimal feed-back controller for the machine based on the theory he developed.

    7. The COWI group in the San Francisco Bay area. They were instrumental in the structural re-design effort, going from steel to FRP.

    8. 4c Engineering for designing and building the two scale models that were required for the competition.

    9. Oregon Ironworks a steel mfg based in Oregon for the help in assessing steel structural costs.

    10. Orenco Composites a FRP manufacturing outfit based in Oregon who helped us refine our design and manufacturing process.

    11. University of Iowa for letting us test our 1:50 scale and 1:20 scale device there.

    12. We also would like to acknowledge the tremendous effort by the WEC-Prize team, which includes the National lab team and the amazing crew at Carderock.

    Finally, a really warm thank you to the US Department of Energy – in particular Alison Labonte and Jose Zayas for their vision in creating such a transformative effort.

  • Waveswing America delighted to have secured a prize

    Posted on Wed 23 Nov 2016

    Team Waveswing America are delighted to have secured a prize within the competition and with the validation that this provides to the Waveswing technology. This achievement is all the more worthwhile as the Waveswing design is the result of years of development and real engineering and this is reflected in a conservative cost base which constrained our final score. The remaining technical risk is low and further testing following the prize program has delivered full validation of our numerical simulations and the possibility of a 40% uplift in performance through improved geometry. With this uplift and improved structural design which fully leverages the advantages of FRP composites, we believe that an ACE of up to 20 is a realistic possibility, even at prototype stage.

    As the competition closes out, Team Waveswing would like to congratulate all of the competitors for their performance in what was undoubtedly an arduous and challenging competition. We would like to thank the prize team and judges for their fantastic efforts in running an exciting competition and to thank the DoE and US Navy for initiating, funding and supporting the competition. Well done! Finally it just remains to say good luck to all of the teams in the real competition – who will be first to market!

  • Waveswing pre-testing commences in Iowa

    Posted on Tue 21 Jun 2016

    The Waveswing America team has been working hard to finish the build and testing of the 1:20 scale Waveswing with excellent results. Our direct-drive PTO unit is working better than expected with excellent force and velocity control response which allows us to implement the most advanced control strategies available. Combined with the low absorber mass giving excellent response and the low structural volume, we really feel that the Waveswing is the Ferrari of wave power!

    We have now assembled the complete system at the University of Iowa wave tank and commence testing in earnest tomorrow. This will allow us to tune the control system and iron out any problems with the device before finally packing up for shipping to Carderock. It is really pleasing to see the efforts of so many different people all coming together to
    produce such a great result.

    Go Waveswing America!

    Photo above shows the complete 1:20 scale Waveswing model with a selection of nose-cone options.
    Photo above shows the complete 1:20 scale Waveswing model with a selection of nose-cone options.
    Above photo shows the anchor frame and air reservoir being lowered into the tank at Iowa University.
    Above photo shows the anchor frame and air reservoir being lowered into the tank at Iowa University.
  • Waveswing America finalizing design and preparing to build

    Posted on Mon 09 May 2016

    The Waveswing America team has been working hard to finalize the design of the 1:20 scale model for testing at Carderock. Whilst the design is very similar to that used for the 1:50 trials earlier this year, we have focused on improving the fidelity of the model, incorporating the active PTO system and engineering for reduced losses. We now have now signed off on the design and parts are being machined.

    In parallel with the mechanical design, we have also been progressing our dynamic control software. Data from the 1:50 trials has allowed us to refine and validate our numerical models which are essential for tuning the control system so that we can achieve maximum output.

    Lead members of our team attended the Wave Energy Prize Finalists Summit in Washington DC in April and enjoyed meeting both the other competitor teams and the DoE and Prize Administration teams. The even proved most useful with the highlight being the visit to the MASK basin at Carderock.

    Over the next few weeks we will begin assembling the model, complete the design and build of the self-deploying anchor system necessary for the large tank, finalize the control systems and make preparations for a return to the University of Iowa for pre-testing of the 1:20 scale model.

    CAD model of the Waveswing 1:20 scale device
    CAD model of the Waveswing 1:20 scale device

  • Waveswing focuses on final design

    Posted on Fri 15 Apr 2016

    This month we focused on the final design of the 1/20 scale model, resolving interface issues with Carderock and re-working our numerical models. We have also started ordering parts and are planning our wave tank testing campaign . We are looking forward to visiting the Carderock facility during the waterpower week in DC.

    Also, here are some responses to questions asked of the teams:

    Why are you participating in the Prize?

    Response: Commercially viable wave energy conversion has remained an elusive goal, despite decades of research. The WEC prize is providing an avenue to get radical with our design approaches and pursue game-changing approaches and technologies. These step-changes are critically needed if we are going to crack this problem. It’s also simply fun!

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

    Response: The government’s role is to encourage innovation by providing appropriate funding mechanisms and development targets. To do that, it needs to provide a sensible mix of market push and market pull mechanisms that are fair and equitable for all players involved. Done properly, it will encourage and nurture a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship typically found in silicon valley startups.

    What has been the biggest challenge so far?
    Response: The 1:50 model scale was difficult to build and was probably too small to provide reliable validation data. We also encountered some issues with modeling our device and were lacking model validation data during the development of our computational model to allow us to debug our model.

    What are you most looking forward to?
    Response: Testing at Carderock!

  • Waveswing America prepares for pre-testing in June

    Posted on Wed 23 Mar 2016

    The Waveswing America team has been working hard on the initial phases of the design of the 1:20 scale model and the associated control system. As our device uses advanced reactive controls, specification of the PTO and the controls system hardware is critical. Because our device is relatively small at full-scale, design at model scale is challenging, particularly due to the scaling effects with regards to mass. We have however found off-the-shelf components which will meet the required specifications and we are now integrating these into the model design. In parallel with this we are further validating the computational models of the device and advancing the controls strategies to maximize production. This work is being complemented by parallel work on hydrodynamics and computational modelling of the device that we are carrying out for Wave Energy Scotland.

    The team recognizes the importance of pre-testing ahead of the prize runs at Carderock and so we are busy planning for this activity during June. All of this puts a degree of pressure on schedules however we are confident that we will meet the necessary deadlines.

    Finally we are looking forward to the Finalists Summit in DC in April and are working on an in-water desk-top display of the 1:50 scale model for the exhibition. See you all there!

  • Waveswing America delighted with test results

    Posted on Fri 12 Feb 2016

    Team Waveswing America were delighted with the results of the testing of their 1:50 scale model at the Hydrodynamics Research facility at the University of Iowa. A big thanks go out from the team to everyone at the facility for their support and making the test process so effective. Our numerical models are now largely validated and the results confirm the potential of the Waveswing WEC. We are hopeful of being selected for the 1:20 scale build phase and look forward to demonstrating even better performance then! Meantime, have a look at our short video of the design, build and test program for the 1:50 model.

  • Waveswing America prepares for 1/50th scale testing

    Posted on Fri 15 Jan 2016

    The holidays has given us as a team some much needed down-time. Being one of the last teams to carry out our wave tank testing, we are just now packing our bags and checking our material lists for our testing planned for the third week of January in Iowa and are looking forward to demonstrate our device performance.

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

Back to Teams

EERE. Wave Energy Prize. U.S. Department of Energy. Jul, 2018, 13:23 EST. Available at: https://waveenergyprize.org/. Accessed Jul, 2018.

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

EERE. "Wave Energy Prize," waveenergyprize.org, U.S. Department of Energy, https://waveenergyprize.org/ (accessed Jul, 2018).

EERE. Wave Energy Prize [Internet]. waveenergyprize.org; 2018 July, 13:23 EST [cited 2018 July]. Available from: https://waveenergyprize.org/

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