PENNINGTON, N.J., Sept. 5, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:OPTT) ("OPT" or "the Company") today announced that the Company has been awarded a U.S. Department of Energy ("DOE") Small Business Innovation Research ("SBIR") Phase I grant of approximately $150,000 to study advanced control methods for maximizing the wave energy harvesting capability of its PowerBuoy ® products. Less than 12% of the DOE's SBIR and related Small Business Technology Transfer funding applications were granted in this latest funding round. The study will evaluate the implementation of certain advanced control systems for power take-off mechanisms, which are essential to increasing the wave energy captured and hence the total system electric power output. The scope of work to be performed will include assessing various control models by carrying out modeling and simulations using OPT's proprietary tools. This analysis will be corroborated using data collected from previous full scale PowerBuoy deployments and wave tank testing. The work is aimed at enhancing the ability of wave energy converters to increase their power output. This is a critical parameter in the reduction of the levelized cost of energy, and in making PowerBuoy systems more commercially competitive with conventional power generation. "At a time of constrained federal budgets, we are gratified that the Department of Energy is continuing to invest in wave-power commercial viability, and we appreciate that they have recognized Ocean Power Technologies' work in this field," said Charles F. Dunleavy, Chief Executive Officer of OPT. "This award is in accord with the DOE's stated objectives to help develop advanced technologies that contribute to the clean energy economy. We appreciate that the DOE is helping us look over the horizon to the next generation of PowerBuoys." When the Phase 1 work is completed, and if invited by the DOE, the Company can apply for Phase II SBIR funding for further analytical work, including wave tank testing.