Ocean Power Technologies has developed an innovative Undersea Substation Pod (USP) as a cost-effective, environmentally responsible means of aggregating and transmitting offshore power and data to onshore electric utility grids. The USP was designed as a universal platform for all marine energy generation technologies.
The USP can aggregate up to ten offshore power generation devices into one common interconnection point (e.g. wave, tidal, and offshore wind) for economical undersea power transformation, and data communication. It is designed to step up low voltages generated by offshore devices to medium voltage (11 kilovolts – 15 kilovolts) compatible with onshore electrical distribution.
In addition to step-up capabilities, the USP also provides full relay and fault protection, a full suite of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) capabilities, and allows the operator to remotely control electrical safety equipment.
Critical design features of the USP include the elimination, where possible, of any moving parts and implementation of redundancy in specific areas to ensure high reliability and low-cost maintenance. The USP can also be configured for step-down capabilities for providing shore-based power to other offshore electrical uses including oil and gas, offshore carbon storage, and marine aquaculture applications.