Health Management for Marine Power

Period of Performance: 06/08/2015 - 03/07/2016


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Rmci, Inc.
Huntsville, AL 35806
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


With 50% of the U.S. population living within 50 miles of the coast, marine and hydrokinetic MHK) energy production shows the potential to become a major source of energy for the United States and the rest of the world over the next few decades. Prognostic and health monitoring PHM) technology could make MHK energy production more efficient and more practical, thereby speeding its adoption and decreasing the environmental impact of energy production in the United States. Because the MHK industry and the associated technologies are relatively young, little work has been done to develop PHM capabilities for these devices despite the tremendous benefits PHM technologies could offer the MHK industry. RMCI, Inc. will develop a PHM system specifically for MHK devices by adapting its existing next- generation PHM technology. The Health Management for Marine Power HMMP) system will bring the tremendous benefits of PHM to the MHK industry, and it will be applicable to a wide range of MHK devices. In Phase I, RMCI will establish system-level requirements that cover the needs of a wide variety of MHK devices. We will then design a PHM system that meets those requirements by selecting sensors, algorithms, housings, and other technologies to incorporate into our existing designs. We will demonstrate the feasibility of our design through testing and simulation of our selected technologies. RMCI has teamed with leading MHK companies to ensure that the resulting HMMP system will meet their needs and be commercially viable. HMMP will increase the availability of MHK devices and decrease their levelized cost of energy by decreasing unscheduled maintenance, preventing secondary damage, and providing information about the causes of faults so that future designs can be even more reliable. While optimized for MHK devices, the HMMP system would be well suited for many systems with similar needs for health management and similar environments, including conventional hydropower, commercial vessels, offshore wind energy devices, and offshore oil and gas operations. The operators and manufactures of those systems could benefit in much the same way as the MHK industry. In both MHK and other applications, HMMP will decrease the cost of operation and the environmental impact of the systems it monitors by preventing failures that can be damaging if not disastrous.