GATOR Stage 2 - a compliant seal free hydraulic PTO
Technology from Ideas Ltd, Pelagic Innovation Ltd, University of Strathclyde, University College Cork
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 Gator PTO spring pump itself is manufactured from engineered polymer materials and needs no seals so 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.