The Gator PTO is based around a novel polymer ‘spring pump’ capable of pumping significant quantities of water at moderate pressures through conventional hydro-electric turbines.
The spring pump itself, manufactured from engineered polymer materials, needs no seals and therefore offers a truly contamination tolerant pumping device. Using a thermoplastic rather than a rubber polymer allows for much stiffer responses to be achieved and higher water pressures to be pumped. The non-linear response of the spring allows for the spring stiffness to be much lower than the pumping pressure under normal operating conditions but to dominate the forces in survival conditions, delivering inbuilt survivability to the PTO. The pump is closely coupled to the hydro-electric turbine, reducing flow losses and transient pipeline effects.
The entire system can be integrated into a wide range of WECs including point absorbers, oscillating wave surge converters, attenuators, and pressure differential devices.