The SEADOG® Pump
The SEADOG® Pump captures ocean-wave energy to pump large volumes of seawater, consuming no fuel or electricity and creates no polluting by-products in the process. The pump uses buoyancy to convert wave energy to mechanical energy. The main components of the SEADOG® Pump include a buoyancy chamber, buoyancy block, piston assembly, piston shaft, piston cylinder, and intake and exhaust valves. When positioned in the water the buoyancy block (filled with air) floats within the buoyancy chamber, moving up and down in relation to the ocean waves and swells. The buoyancy block is connected to the piston shaft which in-turn moves the piston assembly through the piston cylinder.
SEADOG® Pump Applications
There are many applications for the SEADOG® Pump from power generation to aquafarming. INRI® is currently developing seawater desalination systems and hydroelectric energy generation.
The SEADOG® Pump in Action
As the buoyancy block moves down in the trough of a wave it draws the piston downward through the piston cylinder. The downward movement draws water into the piston cylinder through the intake valve filling the piston cylinder chamber. As the next wave lifts the buoyancy block the water within the piston cylinder is under pressure and is expelled through the exhaust valve. Each cycle of the buoyancy block rising and falling, drawing in and expelling water, is called a stroke. Each stroke of the piston causes the water to be pumped from the piston cylinder in a regular manner.
SEADOG® Pump Performance
SEADOG® Pump concept development, design, construction of prototypes and performance validation has been in the works for several years at INRI®. Prototype performance testing has been performed in INRI®’s internal development lab, in the Texas A&M Offshore Technology Research Center’s wave tank, and most recently, in actual ocean trials conducted off the coast of Freeport, TX. The test results have confirmed that SEADOG® Pump technology can be a viable means of harvesting renewable power from ocean waves.
- Wave Tank Testing: INRI® was the first company offering a renewable energy solution to lease the Texas A&M University Offshore Technology Research Center, a wave tank facility utilized primarily by the oil and gas industry to test performance of constructs in ocean conditions. The SEADOG® Pump received 3rd party validation of the concept and basic performance and confirming (within 5%) energy recovery results generated in INRI®’s own internal lab tests.
- Gulf of Mexico Ocean Trial: The first performance test in actual ocean conditions was INRI®’s Kitty Hawk. The company designed and built a SEADOG® Pump to match the wave regime in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Freeport, Texas. The pump was 35 feet high and weighed 17,200 pounds. The ocean trial was very successful, confirming key aspects of fitness, functionality and pumping capacity. During the gulf trial the SEADOG® encountered modest waves ranging in height from 6” to 6 feet and consistently pumped 12 – 18 gallons of seawater per minute at a head pressure of 47-54 PSI, meaning the SEADOG® Pump lifted the water approximately 110 to 125 feet.
- Gulf of Mexico Independent Third Party Performance Verification by Texas A&M University: In July of 2007 INRI® launched a 3-month ocean demonstration of the SEADOG® Pump. Researchers from the Texas A&M University at Galveston Marine Engineering Technology Department studied the pump’s performance in actual wave conditions and reported favorably to its simplicity of design, unmatched performance, and ease of manufacturing and commercial marketability. The final report showed that the SEADOG® Pump has the potential to convert ocean waves at an efficiency factor that is over twice as good as any other wave technology invented to date. See the full Texas A&M report for further details.
What’s next for the SEADOG® Pump?
INRI® is currently designing a single, scaled-up version of the SEADOG® Pump for a one year test off the northern coast of California; in the Humboldt County, Table Bluff area. The region offers a robust wave regime which ranges from 5 to 33 foot waves. SEADOG® Pump deployment in Humboldt County is planned for late 2008-early 2009.
INRI® is also in discussions with various parties about building systems of 14 to 200 SEADOG® Pumps to be deployed for desalination or hydroelectricity facilities, or a combination of both.
SEADOG® Pump Benefits
- Pump operation requires no fuel or electricity and introduces zero carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
- The pump is an adaptable device that can be scaled and configured for most of the world’s shorelines.
- Pump design and construction is simple and utilizes materials that are readily available almost anywhere. Pump manufacturing is well suited for job creation in the region of deployment.
- The pump device contains no electrical or hydraulic components which can be damaged by seawater and possibly introduce pollutants to the water or air.
- An installed and operating pump system (array of pumps) will continue to function if one or more pumps are shut down for maintenance.
Benefits in Seawater Desalination
- The pump is capable of delivering high volumes of water at sufficient head pressure to supply water for shoreline desalination facilities.
- The SEADOG® Pump has the potential to make desalination much less expensive as energy consumption can represent as much as one-third of the operating cost of desalinated water.
Benefits in Hydroelectricity Generation
- Unlike other renewable energy sources SEADOG® Pumps used in hydroelectricity generation can be a base-load (primary) source of power, drawing from the water holding area when it is needed to match demand.
- Once appropriate approvals are secured a system (array) of SEADOG® Pumps can be deployed very rapidly, with power generation coming on-line in stages.
- Preliminary data from SEADOG® Pump lab and field studies suggests that SEADOG® Pump system has the potential to be cost competitive with any other form of base-load power generation.