New technology: The energy crisis has emerged as a new challenge all over the world. To fight this, scientists are trying to find ways to generate electricity from renewable energy sources. Working in this direction, researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras have developed a technology that can generate electricity from sea waves.
This technique of generating electricity from sea waves has become possible due to a device called ‘Ocean Wave Energy Converter’ developed by IIT Madras. This device has been tested successfully last month. The device has been deployed at a depth of 20 meters, about six kilometers off the coast of Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu. The device aims to generate one megawatt of power from ocean waves in the next three years.
The equipment installed under the project named ‘Sindhuja-1’ consists of floating components, a spar, and electrical modules. When a sea wave is up and down, the floating component, like a balloon, is also up and down. The design of the apparatus is such that the balloon-like system has a central hole through which a long rod, called a spar, passes.
The spar can be set on the ocean floor and not affected by the waves. A relative motion helps in the rotation of the electric generator and the resulting energy production. In the current design of the equipment, the spar floats and mooring chains hold the system in place.
IIT Madras tests ‘Ocean Wave Energy Converter’ Viraya Paramita Energy Pvt Ltd; and in collaboration with Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Prayagraj. Whereas, the power storage system has been designed by the GKC Institute of Engineering & Technology and MCKV Institute of Engineering, West Bengal. Waterfront Engineering and Infrastructure Pvt Ltd has been instrumental in setting up the equipment at sea.
The device has been developed with remote offshore locations in mind that require reliable sources of power and communication. Target stakeholders of this technology include oil and gas companies, defense establishments, and the communications sector.
The success of the project is expected to help meet several objectives such as the United Nations Ocean Decade and the Sustainable Development Goals. Components such as the Deep Water Mission, clean energy, and blue economy figure prominently in India’s sustainable development goals. The initiative could help India meet its climate change target of generating 500 GW of electricity by 2030 through renewable energy.
Professor Abdus Samad, Department of Ocean Engineering, IIT Madras, explains – “India has a coastline of 7,500 km, capable of generating 54 GW of electricity, which can help meet the country’s energy requirement. Tides in seawater And ocean thermal energy reserves are accumulated. 40 GW of energy is possible to be harnessed from ocean waves in India.”
Professor Samad has said that “single devices at different locations along the Indian coastline can generate large amounts of clean energy. We are also looking at placing multiple devices in specific arrays to extract maximum energy from the location.” We believe India can move towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by targeting net zero carbon emissions and harnessing ocean energy to mitigate the effects of climate change.”
The study was carried out under the ‘Innovative Research Project’ of IIT Madras; TBI-KIET, a fund-raising scheme of the Department of Science and Technology (DST); and is based on a grant from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs.
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