The overall goal of the small buoys for energy harvesting project was to create a simple, easily deployable, storm resilient, and low maintenance system capable of powering distributed marine surveillance and instrumentation networks, Traditionally, batteries and/or solar-power are used to power instrumentation on buoys. These systems require costly maintenance and can experience damage from rough sea conditions. A wave-powered buoy would lower maintenance costs by converting vertical motion to electricity with the use of a magnetic armature and a linear generator.
The paper, downloadable here; details the justification, development, and execution of these design changes with emphasis on how each contributes to the project's overall goal. Excerpts from the report are displayed to the left.
The redesign of the buoy was a collaborative effort with Steven Alviti, Stephen Wilkey, and Matthew Turcotte.