OIST team proposes a novel ocean-current turbine design.
Fossil fuels propelled the Industrial Revolution and subsequent technological advances. However, our future cannot be based on them, if only because they are a finite resource; and we are very close to exhausting them.
Solar and wind power is often seen as the main locomotive of the energy revolution. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that solar panels and wind turbines alone cannot provide all the energy we need, especially considering that energy consumption around the world is steadily growing. Due to day-night cycles and seasonal weather patterns, solar and wind power is inherently intermittent. Moreover, utility-scale power farms will require vast tracts of land.
Ocean currents are another source of power, comparable to fossil fuels in terms of consistency and reliability, and at the same time, clean and renewable.
In the journal, Renewable Energy, the Quantum Wave Microscopy Unit at Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) proposed a design for a submerged marine turbine to harness the energy of the Kuroshio Current, flowing along the Japanese coast. This design is especially suitable for regions regularly devastated by storms and typhoons, such as Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippines. The turbine operates in the middle layer of the current, 100 m below the surface, where the waters flow calmly and steadily, even during strong storms.
“Our design is simple, reliable, and power-efficient”, says Dr Katsutoshi Shirasawa, a staff scientist in the Quantum Wave Microscopy Unit. The turbine comprises a float, a counterweight, a nacelle to house electricity-generating components, and three blades. Minimising the number of components is essential for easy maintenance, low cost, and a low failure rate.
The OIST design is a hybrid of a kite and a wind turbine: an ocean-current turbine is anchored to seabed with a line and floats in the current while water rotates its three blades. Ocean currents are rather slow, averaging 1-1.5 m/s. However, water is over 800 times as dense as air, and even a slow current contains energy comparable to a strong wind. Additionally, currents do not stop or change direction.
The OIST team, led by Prof. Tsumoru Shintake, head of the Quantum Wave Microscopy Unit, built a prototype turbine and conducted various experiments to test its design and configuration. Results confirmed the robustness and stability of the turbine construction. The achieved efficiency is comparable to that of commercial wind turbines.
The design can easily be scaled up or down, depending on local conditions and needs. Dr. Shirasawa and his colleagues aspire to build an energy farm featuring 300 turbines 80 m in diameter. The expected output is about 1 GW — the equivalent of one nuclear reactor, capable of powering over 400,000 homes. This project will be an important step toward development of green energy.
Learn more: Taming Oceans for 24/7 Power
The Latest on: Ocean-current turbine
via Google News
The Latest on: Ocean-current turbine
- Modec unveils Skwid hybrid turbine concept on March 29, 2019 at 5:00 pm
... vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) with a Savonius ocean-current turbine. Japanese marine contractor Modec has unveiled a hybrid offshore energy concept that marries a three-bladed vertical axis ... […]
- Total Wants to Drill for Oil in the World's Fastest Ocean Current on March 25, 2019 at 5:01 pm
Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here. Total SA’s discovery of South Africa’s first oil in deep water could prove to be a bonanza for a country ... […]
- Japanese Professor Builds Wave Energy "Flowers" on October 2, 2017 at 5:01 pm
Firstly, Shintake aims to harness energy from the Kuroshio ocean current that flows from the eastern coast of Taiwan and around the southern parts of Japan. This “Sea Horse” project uses submerged ... […]
- Submerged Turbines Could Replace 10 Nuclear Reactors In Japan on October 2, 2017 at 1:03 pm
Professor Shintake and the Quantum Wave Microscopy Unit at OIST began by starting a project titled “Sea Horse,” aiming to harness energy from the Kuroshio ocean current that flows from the eastern ... […]
- Engineers aim to harness energy from the Kuroshio ocean current on September 22, 2017 at 4:13 am
OIST researchers develop turbines to convert the power of ocean waves into clean, renewable energy. Professor Tsumoru Shintake at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University ... […]
- New Turbine Design Converts Ocean Waves into Clean Energy on September 21, 2017 at 5:00 pm
That year, Professor Shintake and the Quantum Wave Microscopy Unit at OIST began a project titled "Sea Horse," aiming to harness energy from the Kuroshio ocean current that flows from the eastern ... […]
- Large Water Turbine on August 10, 2017 at 5:00 pm
Each GTH Turbine deployed in an ocean current can produce more than 10 megawatts of electricity, 24 hours a day, every day of the year. GTH has invested many years toward the development of this ... […]
- IHI unveils prototype 'ocean energy' generator on July 8, 2017 at 2:45 am
As the world considers alternative ways of generating energy, engineering giant IHI Corp. on July 7 unveiled an "ocean current power generator" prototype. The device, which harnesses ocean energy ... […]
- Orkney ocean energy unit starts producing power on April 14, 2017 at 9:33 am
A new ocean current energy system has been successfully deployed, according to the company behind it. The Subsea Power Hub (SPH) is being tested by Aberdeen based EC-OG at Shapinsay Sound, Orkney. The ... […]
- This turbine can harvest green energy in water currents as slow as 2 mph on April 3, 2017 at 6:03 am
“Waterotor” can work in currents as slow as 2 mph which means it could be used in almost any river, canal, or ocean current ... The post This turbine can harvest green energy in water currents as slow ... […]
via Bing News