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
- Marine Power Market Report Analysis and Market Insights for Highly Profitable Investment Decision: Industry Outlook by 2024on November 29, 2019 at 3:33 am
The waves and tides are used to produce electricity by the stored heat of the surface water. This tidal energy, wave energy, ocean current energy, etc have the huge capability of priding the ...
- Analyzing Lake Worth Beach’s travel budget: Was $39,000 well spent?on October 22, 2019 at 3:15 pm
They attended the U.S. Conference of mayors where Mayor Pam Triolo accepted an award for the city's proposed Ocean Current Energy project and attended an additional energy conference. Four months ...
- Modec unveils Skwid hybrid turbine concepton September 11, 2019 at 5:00 pm
Japanese marine contractor Modec has unveiled a hybrid offshore energy concept that marries a three-bladed vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) with a Savonius ocean-current turbine. Japanese marine ...
- Ocean Current Energy Electric Generator Market Size, Status and Growth Opportunities by 2019 to 2025on August 8, 2019 at 1:12 am
Aug 08, 2019 (HTF Market Intelligence via COMTEX) -- HTF MI Analyst have added a new research study on Title Global Ocean Current Energy Electric Generator Market Insights, Forecast to 2025 with ...
- Saudi entrepreneur eyes world's largest ocean energy projecton May 29, 2019 at 3:28 am
OceanBased Perpetual Energy, led by Saudi entrepreneur Nasser MN Alshemaimry, inks deal to assist in developing the world's largest commercial ocean current energy project OceanBased Perpetual Energy, ...
- Minesto Takes Steps Towards World's First Ocean Current Electricity Generationon January 16, 2018 at 11:09 pm
Swedish marine energy developer Minesto intensifies activities in Taiwan to establish the company's unique Deep Green technology in the Asian market. Local staff have been recruited to a newly ...
- 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 Japanon October 2, 2017 at 8:00 am
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 ...
- Scientists develop turbine that can harness electricity from ocean currents - Reporton September 27, 2017 at 12:09 am
Researchers from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University in Japan began a project titled "Sea Horse," which aims to harness energy from the Kuroshio ocean current that ...
- New Turbine Design Converts Ocean Waves into Clean Energyon September 22, 2017 at 6:52 am
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 ...
via Bing News