Incredible Miniature Reaction Torque Sensor Helps Create Ocean Energy

Goal – Create Energy From Ocean Waves

Mocean Energy Miniature Reaction Torque SensorApplied Measurements provided Mocean Energy with a YDNS miniature reaction torque sensor and a SGA strain gauge amplifier to be used in their 1/50th scale wave energy converter.  Mocean Energy is 1 of 20 teams competing in the Wave Energy Prize, sponsored by the US Department of Energy.

The Wave Energy Prize aims to promote the development of more wave energy converters, which they hope will reduce the cost of wave energy and make it more competitive with traditional forms of energy.  Mocean Energy’s 1/50th scale model will be tested and evaluated in a wave tank in the US for a prize of $1.5 million.  Their full scale version aims to convert wave force into electricity.

YDNS Miniature Reaction Torque Sensor Benefits

YDNS Miniature Shaft Torque Sensor

  • Capacities: 0-0.2Nm to 0-1000Nm
  • 1.3mV/V Output
  • Non-Linearity: <±0.1%/Rated Capacity
  • Very Compact Size
  • Low Cost
  • Suitable for Low Torque Measurements
  • Static or Semi-Rotary Applications

“The YDNS miniature reaction torque sensor was ideal to use in this application as it can effectively measure torque to 0.1% accuracy in static or semi-rotary applications, where less than 1 revolution is to be measured,”says Ollie Morcom, Applied Measurements’ Sales Director.

Its compact size and in-line direct drive measurement capability meant it could easily be housed within the waterproof enclosure of the 1/50th scale wave energy converter.  What’s more, the versatile torque sensor can also be supplied with custom shaft sizes and configurations to suit your application.

How Was It Used In The Wave Energy Converter?

Mocean Energy HingeMocean Energy’s innovative wave energy converter is a hinged raft where 2 bodies are connected by a hinge.  The wave force creates relative motion between the bodies about the hinge.  This motion drives the power take off system, which in the full scale model, converts the kinetic energy into electricity.  The 1/50th scale model aims to replicate the damping torque of the power-take-off system and measure the power dissipated through the hinge.

To take the torque readings a YDNS miniature reaction torque sensor is connected to the motor with a coupling.  When the wave force creates motion between the bodies, the rotation of the hinge (flex) applies a torque through the miniature torque sensor which turns the motor shaft.  The torque sensor’s output signal is conditioned by an SGA strain gauge amplifier into a high-level ±10Vdc industry-standard signal ready for evaluation by a data acquisition system.

SGA Load Cell Amplifier

SGA Load Cell AmplifierThe YDNS miniature reaction torque sensor was calibrated with a SGA high performance strain gauge amplifier and enclosure to provide a complete torque measuring system.  The SGA strain gauge amplifier, was the perfect choice for this low torque measuring application as it is capable of dealing with very low-level input signals from as low as 0.06mV/V and amplifying them into a stable, high-level industry standard process signals such as ±5Vdc, 0-10Vdc and 4-20mA.

If you have a similar project you wish to discuss or you would like more information on our YDNS miniature reaction torque sensors or SGA strain gauge amplifiers, please call us on +44 (0) 118 981 7339 or email us on