PowerDocks, LLC announced the successful demonstration of its Blue Isles™ Floating Microgrid Mooring Platform

Published by MM Editor on Friday, 27th October 2017 - 3:51PM


New Bedford, MA –  In partnership with the New Bedford Ocean Cluster, ImpactLABS and the Port of New Bedford Harbor Development Commission (HDC). This platform is the first of its kind, showcasing the ability to provide: electric power for vessels, primary/auxiliary/backup power for the city, multiple wireless networks, sustainable energy for the city in case of a natural disaster, electrical power for vessels moored off its platform, real-time remote monitoring of the harbor’s environmental conditions and remote video surveillance monitoring.

When several platforms (among the port’s 300 moorings) are combined, over 1 MWh of stored energy can be offered to the City of New Bedford during a power outage or natural disaster.

In partnering with a local IoT accelerator, ImpactLABS, PowerDocks has instrumented its Blue Isles™ Microgrid Mooring Platform with a Portable Edge Computing Unit (PECU) from V5 Systems (Intel-powered Dell gateways) and a 360Fly camera. PowerDocks will also be adding Analog Devices Inc.’s nano-climate monitoring stations and In-Situ water quality sensors to their platform in the near future. Collectively, they will demonstrate versatile capabilities for the HDC. All of these will be integrated on a PTC ThingWORX IoT service creation and application development environment.

Blue Isles™ Floating Microgrid Mooring Platform New Bedford, MA

PowerDocks’ Managing Principal, Anthony Baro, stated, “ImpactLABS gives Blue Isles™ Mooring the ability to integrate Internet of Things (IoT) systems for real-time remote monitoring of water quality sensors and cameras within a single platform”.

He continued, “Together, we demonstrated the ability to facilitate the extended stay of boaters visiting the Port of New Bedford with a unique way to provide them in-water electrical power and access to WiFi. Boaters can leave their vessels charging while exploring the revitalized downtown area of New Bedford and discovering what the city has to offer”.

Chris Rezendes, Managing Director of ImpactLABS, says, “PowerDocks’ Blue Isles™ is a perfect example of what needs done to enhance the resilience of coastal operations all over the world: resilience in sustainable energy, connectivity and real time conditions monitoring. New Bedford’s HDC is focused on ensuring that the Port of New Bedford offers all of its stakeholder groups a compliant, safe and productive environment. We are proud to demonstrate this capability.”

The City of New Bedford has a strong commitment to the development of sustainable infrastructure that helps preserve the quality of its inner port waters. “With the introduction of this floating microgrid, we are continuing our commitment to embrace new and environmentally friendly innovation in our harbor,” said Ed Anthes-Washburn, the HDC’s Executive Director, “We will continue to bring the best in innovative, ocean-related infrastructure to ensure our harbor continues to prosper.”

PowerDocks, LLC (www.power-docks.com) develops Marine Autonomous Powered Docking Platforms (MAPDs) that are capable of delivering onsite critical power and enhanced operational capabilities to a broad range of customer applications, including: Yachting, Defense, Oceanographic, Aquaculture and Offshore Commercial industries worldwide.

ImpactLABS (www.iotimpactlabs.com) helps small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) instrument the physical world with intelligence and intention for profit and resilience. We pursue this mission through a multi-stakeholder model that brings together: SMBs, physical world subject matter experts (SMEs), early stage Internet of Things (IoT) companies and visionary Fortune 5000 technology and industrial businesses.


Blue Isles™ PowerDocks, LLC platform, Newport, RI

Fabricated on land, the first Blue Isles “aquatic microgrid” was installed in Newport Habor on Rhode Island in July. The 30-square-metre floating platform generates electricity through a bank of solar panels, stores it in batteries, and then delivers it to docked vessels.

It also provides WiFi up to a range of 90 metres. Platform operators such as marinas, harbours and private individuals can either rent platforms (when a charge for the generated electricity is included in the rental fee), or purchase them outright. Boaters using Blue Isles can download a smartphone app that controls charging and monitors electricity usage. The app also shows the temperature of batteries on the platform and images from security cameras.

“That’s roughly enough to supply energy to four boats for a week, without sunshine.”

“This particular platform can generate about two kilowatts of power and has storage capacity for about 12,” added Baro. “That’s roughly enough to supply energy to four boats for a week, without sunshine.”

Many boats have gas or diesel generators to charge the batteries that power their electrical systems, including refrigeration equipment. When boats are hooked up to Blue Isles they have no need for such generators, which are noisy, polluting and can be costly to run. Once deployed, a network of such microgrids will also serve the growing number of boaters using electric propulsion.

“With no fossil fuels involved, this is a completely green technology,” says Baro. “Not only do we want to lower energy costs for boaters, we also want to promote sustainable power. After all, we all enjoy eating fish and swimming in clean water.”

Blue Isles™ platform showcasing autonomous electric recharging.

For more information on PowerDocks, please contact Anthony Baro at abaro@power-dock.com or call 401-489-2273. For more information on Impact LABS, please contact Chris Rezendes at cjr@iotimpactlabs.com or call 508-415-5022. For more information on the City of New Bedford HDC, please contact Edward Anthes-Washburn at Edward.Anthes-Washburn@newbedford-ma.gov or call 508-961-3000. 

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