Our History

C·Power has made extensive use of modeling and scaled testing in its product development efforts. Over the past 12 years, we’ve conducted five tank tests, four sea trials and thousands of hours of modelling. After considering hundreds of hull shape variations and design specifications, the result of the company’s intensive research and development efforts is a scalable wave power system that delivers the qualities that our customers need: products that offer survivability, reduced costs and an environmentally friendly footprint.

Below, we share our history, from humble beginnings as graduate research at Oregon State University to our position today delivering the products the marine economy needs to change the ocean from a power desert into a power- and data-enriched environment.  

2004-2007: In the Lab at Oregon State University

The original system design and development effort was started at Oregon State University. The early design generations were linear direct-drive systems, with the first prototype tests conducted at the Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory in 2004. This early testing demonstrated that a linear direct-drive permanent magnet generator was a potentially feasible solution for converting wave power into electricity. Following refinement of the concept and licensing by C·Power, a 1-kW device known as the SeaBeaver was deployed off the coast of Newport, Oregon, in 2007.

SeaBeaver (v1.0) Deployment

2007-2009: C·Power Licenses Design to Continue Development

In 2008, a 10-kW second-generation device with improved hydrodynamic performance was deployed at the same location off the coast of Newport. Learning and advancements from this test led to the creation of a new proprietary concept using direct-drive rotary generators. The resulting third-generation concept delivered a greater range of potential energy capture and more optimal performance, as well as lower relative capital and operating costs.

A third-generation prototype was tested at 1:50 scale in 2008 and 1:33 scale in 2009, followed in by the testing of a 1:15 scale system in 2010 at the Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory. In addition to verifying energy performance, assessing system survivability was an important aspect of these tests, which included waves reaching 29 meters at full-scale equivalent.

2009-2012: Steadily Improving System Performance

Numerically driven hydrodynamic design optimization led to an updated third-generation design, which was tested at 1:33 scale at Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory as a single device and in three- and five-unit arrays. The new design was optimized for manufacturability, in addition to providing a performance improvement of over 230%. In February 2011, a 1:4.5 scale prototype was deployed for 13-month sea trials in Washington’s Puget Sound.

Following the Puget Sound deployment, our evolving third-generation hydrodynamic design was further optimized to avoid the expense and risk of range-of-motion-limiting end stops. Nearly a thousand simulations were run. The resulting design changes reduced projected capital and operating expenses, while projecting to deliver nearly twice the annual energy production of the prior design. A smaller-scale prototype was tested at Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory in late 2012 to validate the design improvements.

2013-2018: Testing and Developing a Suite of Innovative Solutions

C·Power leveraged our improved system design to commence development of a pipeline of product solutions that deliver reliable, cost-effective energy generation and storage that unlock innovation in critical industries such as offshore energy, defense and security, aquaculture, science and research, and communications. These products under development include the DataRAY, SeaRAY and StingRAY. Increasing investor interest, partnerships with industry leaders and several R&D grants helped the company advance the products toward successful commercial development.

2019-Present: Toward Commercialization of the SeaRAY autonomous offshore power system

In October 2020, the company announced it had initiated construction of the initial SeaRAY autonomous offshore power system (AOPS). The ground-breaking SeaRAY AOPS can support multiple payloads simultaneously, providing in situ power generation, energy storage and real-time data and communications capabilities for vehicles, sensors, and operating equipment. The system is easily scalable to capacities from tens of watts to tens of kilowatts. It is designed to survive the worst storm conditions and is easily transported worldwide in two standard ocean containers.

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