In summer 2012, NNMREC opened an open ocean test site north of Yaquina Head. This site is 1 square nautical mile, between 2 and 3 nautical miles from shore on the edge of Oregon’s territorial sea. At this site, developers can conduct self-contained tests of their devices or connect to the Ocean Sentinel, NNMREC’s mobile ocean test buoy.
NNMREC’s ocean test site ranges in depth from 45 to 55m. It has a gently sloping soft, sandy bottom. Significant wave heights (SWH) average 1 - 2.5m during summer months at 6 - 9 second energy periods.During winter months these increase to SWH averaging 2 - 5m at 8 - 12 second energy periods, with maximum significant wave heights of 7 - 14m.
NNMREC has characterized the environmental conditions of the site, and has conducted a significant level of environmental monitoring, including baselines for benthic habitat, marine mammal observations, electromagnetic frequency studies (EMF), and acoustics. The site is fully permitted through the NEPA process, Department of State Lands, the US Coast Guard, and the Army Corp of Engineers.
South Energy Test Site (SETS)
SETS is designed to allow ocean testing at a fixed location with a connection to the electric utility grid via a subsea cable. The facility will allow WEC devices to be certified to IEEE and other international standards, and the WEC devices will provide power to the local grid. Up to four berths will allow concurrent testing and demonstration of different technologies. SETS is currently in the permitting process.
The WESRF provides research, testing and services related to machines and drives, power electronics, hybrid electric vehicles, power systems and renewables. WESRF is the home of the Linear Test Bed, an instrument that creates the relative motion between a spar and heaving buoy to simulate wave action. Eleven wave energy device prototypes have been tested on the Linear Test Bed.
The O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory is a leading center for research and education in coastal engineering and nearshore science with facilities that include a Large Wave Flume (104 m long), Tsunami Wave Basin with multi-directional wavemaker, and control room for on-site researchers. The Large Wave Flume is the largest of its kind in North America. Tsunami Wave Basin is equipped with a large-stroke, directional wavemaker with active wave absorption. These facilities have been used to test 1:15 and 1:33 scale wave energy converters, respectively.