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Press Release:

MEDIA CONTACT: Gisele Galoustian
561-297-2010, ggaloust@fau.edu

FAU’s Center for Ocean Energy Technology Deploys Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers to Monitor South Florida Ocean Currents

The Center fulfills a major research and development milestone in its efforts to establish a sustainable ocean energy industry.

BOCA RATON, FL (April 8, 2009) Florida Atlantic University’s Center for Ocean Energy Technology (COET) has deployed four Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCP) moorings in the Atlantic Ocean off the east coast of Florida ranging from approximately 7.8 kilometers (4.9 miles) to 35.9 kilometers (22.3 miles) from Dania Beach at depth of 221 meters (725 feet) to 645 meters (2,116 feet). The deployment of the ADCPs will enable researchers at FAU to gather baseline information which is needed to characterize in detail the spatial and temporal variability of the Gulf Stream, the most energy dense ocean current, for its potential use as an abundant renewable energy source.

“The deployment of the ADCPs is a major milestone for Florida Atlantic University, and our research and development efforts to utilize energy from the Gulf Stream as a source of renewable energy,” said FAU President Frank T. Brogan. “We are very proud of our researchers at the Center for Ocean Energy Technology, and our academic, industry and government partners for helping us move closer to providing a better quality of life for Florida’s citizens and beyond.”

ADCPs use high-frequency, low-power sonar to measure the water velocity throughout  the water column at single locations every 30 minutes. The ADCPs are intended to remain deployed for up to eight months.

The deployment of the ADCPs is the first step in the COET’s plans to create a National Open-ocean Energy Laboratory (NOEL) that will involve a permanent infrastructure offshore of South Florida to serve as an integrated, standardized testing and research range for advanced marine and hydrokinetic devices. The development of NOEL is planned in three major phases, with Phase 1 being the deployment of the ADCPs. The progression of the phased development at the COET is largely driven by permitting procedures and policies. As part of the regulatory approval cycle, the COET received authorization from the Army Corps of Engineers under a nationwide permit to deploy the ADCPs in the Atlantic Ocean. NOEL will provide access to federal and state agencies, technology developers and universities for testing and evaluation of ocean energy systems, from small sub-scale systems to full-scale commercial systems.

“Deployment of the ADCPs will help us to gather baseline data that will guide the subsequent phases and support our near-term science, environmental and resource assessment and technology development,” said Susan Skemp, executive director of the COET at FAU. “Once we have collected and reviewed the data, we plan to share this information with interested government agencies, academic partners and companies.”  

Research at the COET covers a broad spectrum of areas which are necessary to enable the development of a sustainable ocean energy industry. The COET is initially focused on characterizing and evaluating available resources offshore in Florida in the form of a real-time instrumented ocean observatory (NOEL). In cooperation with the offshore range, the COET will develop a variety of platforms that will allow technologies to be tested in situ for most of the development phases necessary to build up to commercial implementation. Moreover, the COET is working together with FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, and industry, government and academic partners to develop an integrated system approach towards environmental, ecological, resource and power system assessment, and risk avoidance to ensure that all elements related to harnessing open-ocean access energy research and development are addressed and understood.

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  About FAU’s Center for Ocean Energy Technology

The Center for Ocean Energy Technology (COET) was founded with a $5M award from the State of Florida in January 2007, and was established to research, design, develop, implement, test and commercialize ocean energy technologies that are cost-competitive with existing power technologies. Researchers at the COET are performing several research projects, including developing a 20-kW turbine and installing instrumentation to evaluate the state's ocean energy resources in the Gulf Stream. Significant efforts have been expended by the COET to engage and assist regulatory agencies in developing rule making in order to define policy, protocol and capability to test and evaluate the feasibility of ocean energy.  As a result, the COET’s approach to ocean energy research and technology demonstration/validation is a total system – environment, ecology, resource and energy conversion.  An undertaking of this size and complexity engages expertise and knowledge across and beyond FAU to build the capability, infrastructure, expertise and strategic partnerships needed to develop and deploy commercially-viable ocean energy systems. The COET engineering enterprise is led by Dr. Frederick Driscoll, technical director, and the science enterprise, which includes environmental research and mitigation, is led by Dr. Howard Hanson, science director.

- FAU -

Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 26,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses strategically located along 150 miles of Florida's southeastern coastline. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts ten colleges:  College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the Barry Kaye College of Business, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Graduate College,   the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.  

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