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Floating Wind Turbine Harvests Energy From Ocean Currents
7/15/2013

Japanese company Mitsui Ocean Development & Engineering Company (MODEC) has designed a hybrid floating wind turbine that also can harvest energy from ocean currents. The SKWID could be used to provide electricity to islands in remote places or with limited facility space, among other offshore applications. <br< (Source: Mitsui Ocean Development and Engineering Company)
Japanese company Mitsui Ocean Development & Engineering Company (MODEC) has designed a hybrid floating wind turbine that also can harvest energy from ocean currents. The SKWID could be used to provide electricity to islands in remote places or with limited facility space, among other offshore applications.

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Good to see this energy harvesting
Ann R. Thryft   7/18/2013 1:15:40 PM
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I didn't even know it was possible to harvest ocean wave energy until I came across the Wave Glider we've both reported on. That depends on a moving object doing the harvesting. If I recall correctly, earlier wave harvesting efforts were done with stationary harvesters. Is that right?

Elizabeth M
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Re: Good to see this energy harvesting
Elizabeth M   7/18/2013 5:38:06 AM
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You're more than welcome, Ann. Ocean-energy harvesting is a particular interest of mine, and I think it's really cool that a company found a way to combine current energy with wind--by using the energy to help power the turbine. It seems like just an initial step toward more widespread use of this type of energy as researchers get more creative with how they can leverage the sea and its potentially unlimited power source.

Elizabeth M
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Re: WIND TURBINE
Elizabeth M   7/18/2013 5:35:51 AM
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It is quite an awesome-looking turbine, in terms of size and scale, I agree, bobjengr. And quite ambitious for them to tackle this. Ocean currents are a great resource if they can be harnessed by this and other new technologies.

bobjengr
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WIND TURBINE
bobjengr   7/17/2013 7:40:15 PM
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I also visited their web site and was amazed at the physical size of the turbine/currents combination.  It's huge.  Not a toy.  Hopefully we can follow their progress as time goes by and get a look at data indicating actual power output.  I think alternate energy possibilities will become more important as time goes by and this device could, if successful, provide power to the most remote sites.  Great post Elizabeth.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Good to see this energy harvesting
Ann R. Thryft   7/17/2013 1:41:08 PM
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Thanks for reporting on this Elizabeth. What a cool combination of alternative energy technologies.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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But what about the transmission lines-?
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   7/16/2013 3:19:36 PM
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I am fascinated by this.  I've been intrigued with harnessing ocean current ever since an Electrical Engineering associate from our local power company was discussing turbines and the Gulf-Stream currents off Florida's coast. 

After looking into the article's content a bit deeper, I discovered some amazing things you didn't elaborate on, in the summary. First was that any good engineer ought to recognize the term, "Savonius" Turbine.  I, however, did not; I had to look it up. (Wikepedia is wonderful)  Second;  same thing for "Darrieus" Turbine. Had to look it up.  (No shame ! )

But what really threw me was that I completely missed the scale of the device in operation.  I hit MODEC's web site and downloaded their PDF on this which shows images in better detail and clarity. The floating yellow disc platform shown is actually about 100 feet in diameter! These "working" prototypes by MODEC are gigantic – near the size of Oil Drilling Platforms. I mistakenly depicted the apparatus as a garage-sized generator.

One sticking point I did not learn was, how is the power generated transferred to a user's location (on a remote island) ?

Jerry dycus
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Re: Good to see this energy harvesting
Jerry dycus   7/16/2013 9:08:36 AM
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  While a good idea especially in the north sea, the selections of ineff rotors shows these people don't have a clue.  Nor is this a  new idea.

 

Facts are normal horizontal wind and water turbines/rotors are 2-3x's as eff as those shown, a fact of basic physics easily found out by anyone who tried.

 

They would have to build unit 2-4x's plus as large, cost for the same output makes this a non starter.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Good to see this energy harvesting
Elizabeth M   7/16/2013 4:40:42 AM
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I agree, Rob. If researchers can find a way to use winds offshore and the ocean itself, it could be an incredible sea change (pardon the pun) for the use of renewables as an energy source. This company is targeting islands initially, but I think this type of turbine could be used in other offshore applications as well. I'm thinking something like offshore oil rigs could be powered by this kind of wind turbine, for a start.

Rob Spiegel
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Good to see this energy harvesting
Rob Spiegel   7/15/2013 3:18:17 PM
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This is good to see, Elizabeth. I've heard from wind energy proponents that the real energy to capture is out on the ocean. There is more energy to grab on the water than there is on ;and.

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