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Seatrec Honored as Winner of the Powering the Blue Economy™ Ocean Observing Prize

San Francisco – WEBWIRE

Seatrec, a renewable energy company that harvests energy from temperature differences in the environment, today announced it is the winner of DISCOVER competition of The Powering the Blue Economy™: Ocean Observing Prize, sponsored by the Department of Energy (DOE) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). As part of the American-Made Challenges, this prize was awarded to Seatrec for its revolutionary work in creating a green energy solution for persistent ocean observation to power profiling floats and underwater gliders. Competitors were asked to submit novel concepts and ideas to integrate ocean observing sensors and platforms with marine energy systems. 

“At a time of unprecedented challenge for the world and for oceanographic research, we are especially honored to receive this award. All of the competitors demonstrated incredible commitment to the bluetech economy,” said Dr. Yi Chao, founder and CEO of Seatrec. “Our team is honored to be recognized by the DOE and NOAA for our work to date. We are dedicated to continuing to develop transformative solutions for continuous ocean observation to ensure the health of our oceans and make critical impacts on the planet.”

Seatrec’s pioneering technology harvests renewable energy from temperature differences in the ocean to power underwater floats and gliders. In February, Seatrec tested a Sea-Bird Scientific Navis float, powered by two Seatrec SL1 energy harvesting modules, and successfully profiled to a depth of 1000 meters. The SL1 harvests energy from temperature differentials in the ocean and converts it to stored electrical energy for future use.  This clean, renewable energy can potentially power profiling floats indefinitely and dramatically reduce costs for essential data collection for oceanographic research. Continuous profiling will allow exponentially more data to be captured, dramatically improving climate modeling in addition to driving better understanding of the world’s oceans. A similar green energy solution for underwater gliders is actively being developed.  

Competitors were evaluated on the impact of their innovation, end-user market potential, and technical feasibility. On March 31, DOE announced 11 winners for the DISCOVER Competition. As a winner, Seatrec intends to continue to build on its innovation in preparation for the next phase DEVELOP Competition.

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About Seatrec

Seatrec designs and manufactures energy harvesting systems that generate electricity from naturally occurring temperature differences in ocean waters. This renewable energy can be used to power deep water oceanographic research equipment such as floats, gliders, and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), resulting in the most scalable, cost-effective deep ocean data collection possible. Incorporated in 2016 by CEO, Dr. Yi Chao, Seatrec’s technology originated at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, to provide clean power for remote off-grid locations. The company is headquartered in Monrovia, CA and funded by equity investors  Breakout Labs, Pasadena Angels, Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, as well as government SBIR programs NOAA, DoD and DARPA. Visit us at and @seatrecinc.

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