Power production data from current deployment at US Navy test site

The U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) is funding another deployment of the wave energy converter BOLT Lifesaver at the 30m test berth of the Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site (WETS), located offshore of Marine Corps Base Hawaii, near Kaneohe, on Oahu.

A collaborative effort between the Applied Research Lab at University of Hawaii, the Applied Physics Lab at University of Washington, offshore operations company Sea Engineering, Inc., and technology owner Fred. Olsen Ltd., the project has seen BOLT Lifesaver undergo modifications to host an oceanographic sensor package (Adaptable Monitoring Package – AMP), developed by the Pacific Marine Renewable Energy Center, to demonstrate the wave energy converter’s ability to directly power external systems.

The sensor package was designed and fabricated by a team from the UW Applied Physics Lab and the UW Department of Mechanical Engineering, during the spring of 2018, and installed and commissioned on BOLT Lifesaver during July and August.


In addition to the AMP’s usual set of sonars and cameras to observe the marine environment, the system includes an underwater data-logging and non-contact power transfer solution, suitable for charging Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, developed by Seattle-based startup, WiBotic.

The team will also make key modifications to the mooring systems, in an effort to demonstrate simplified deployment processes and enhanced power performance.

All modifications and upgrades are now completed, and the team is waiting for a break in the weather to install. BOLT Lifesaver is scheduled for a six months sea trial.

Fred. Olsen himself visiting BOLT Lifesaver during modification work, February 2018. From left: Patrick Cross (Project Manager, UH), Fred. Olsen (owner), Jonas Sjolte (Power Systems Architect), Even Hjetland (Engineering Manager). In background, USS Utah.