GATOR - a compliant seal free hydraulic PTO
Technology from Ideas Ltd, Pelagic Innovation Ltd, University of Strathclyde, University College Cork
The project aimed to develop and test a novel, innovative hydraulic PTO concept consisting of a flexible compliant polymer spring tube.
This polymer spring (or Gator) can be designed with a wide range of non-linear response curves allowing tailoring of the stress strain response. The seawater compatible Gator acts as a pump compressing internal fluid (such as sea-water) and driving a hydraulic PTO system. As it does not require any seals, is designed for tens of millions of compression cycles, can be fabricated at reasonable cost at all scales, is seawater compatible, and can be implemented in a system with very low maintenance requirements, it offers a potentially appealing LCOE for renewable energy PTO requirements.