Discovering the Ocean Through Data: NREL's Modular Ocean Data Acquisition System (Text Version)

This is the text version of the video Discovering the Ocean Through Data: NREL's Modular Ocean Data Acquisition System.

Voice-over: The vast majority of our oceans remain undiscovered.

You could say the same about harnessing ocean power and converting it into reliable, clean energy.

But the path to discovery, at least for marine energy device design, has a clean path forward through data acquisition. Researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory are leading that charge with a system called MODAQ.

Andrew Simms, research technician, National Renewable Energy Laboratory: The big-picture goal for MODAQ is to provide an end-to-end, high-quality data acquisition system for marine energy device deployments.

Voice-over: MODAQ, or Modular Ocean Data Acquisition system, was created to support the advancement of marine renewable energy technologies by providing a comprehensive, verified, easily customizable data processing and storage solution for marine energy devices.

Casey Nichols, researcher, National Renewable Energy Laboratory: NREL, historically, has been involved with the validation of new renewable energy technologies, and we have a lot of experience developing these systems to characterize the performance of new devices. So bringing our past experience with wind and solar into now ocean energy.

Voice-over: MODAQ’s customization and flexibility can bring massive improvements to marine energy devices across the board.

[Text on screen: Field Capabilities Include: Modular hardware and software architecture, data acquisition, remote management, data quality control, data conversion and processing, system monitoring and alerts, compliant software modules, and onboard control capabilities.]

Its hardware reference design and source code are offered in the public domain allowing the marine energy sector to leverage MODAQ for quality and uniform data collection.

Andrew Simms: MODAQ is essentially Lego blocks for data acquisition. Our team can take the blocks and build them per the client's needs.

Voice-over: The appeal has been clear for researchers across the United States, partners from the University of Hawaii are collecting data on an early-stage prototype of a flap-like wave energy converter.

And from the lab in Colorado to deployment in the Pacific, MODAQ C-Power is using MODAQ for their autonomous offshore power system called SeaRAY.

Casey Nichols: What excites me most about MODAQ is the sheer amount of data we're going to capture with it. With access to this data, it should speed up the process of improving ocean energy devices.

Voice-over: Learn more about NREL’s MODAQ research at

[Text on screen: Discover more about MODAQ at]