Take a huge oceanic catamaran, stick a hydroelectric turbine underneath it, and hitch it to a 6.5 million-square-foot parafoil flying nearly a mile in the air. That’s a Korean research team’s new proposal for generating gigawatts of clean energy.
As the parafoil pulls the boat, seawater would be forced through the turbine, which generates electricity. The 800 megawatts of electricity produced would separate seawater into hydrogen and oxygen by electrolysis, and the hydrogen would then be stored on-board the ships.
“The calculation shows that, with a large such ship, a gigawatt order electrical power may be harvested by this system,” wrote Park Chul of the Korea Aerospace Research Institute and Kim Jongchul of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology
, in the journal Energy
in March.“If such ships are deployed at 20-km (12.4-mile) intervals over two temperate zones, one in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in the Northern Hemisphere and the other everywhere in the Southern Hemisphere, the total power produced will be many times that needed by the world,” they wrote.