Abstract

The aim of this study is to determine whether multiple U.S. Navy autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) could be supported using a small, heaving wave energy converter (WEC). The U.S. Navy operates numerous AUVs that need to be charged periodically onshore or onboard a support ship. Ocean waves provide a vast source of energy that can be converted into electricity using a wave energy converter and stored using a conventional battery. The Navy would benefit from the development of a wave energy converter that could store electrical power and autonomously charge its AUVs offshore. A feasibility analysis is required to ensure that the WEC could support the energy needs of multiple AUVs, remain covert, and offer a strategic military advantage. This paper investigates the Navy’s power demands for AUVs and decides whether or not these demands could be met utilizing various measures of WEC efficiency. Wave data from a potential geographic region is analyzed to determine optimal locations for the converter in order to meet the Navy’s power demands and mission set.

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