Researchers from the Department of Ocean Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) have developed an ‘Ocean Wave Energy Converter’ that can generate electricity from sea waves.
Called ‘Sindhuja-I,’ the device is made up of a buoy, a spar, and an electrical module. The buoy is a balloon-like system with a central hole that allows a long rod – the spar – to pass through it. The spar can be fixed to the seabed, so will not be affected by passing waves, while the buoy will move up and down to produce relative motion between them. The relative motion creates rotation in an electric generator to produce power. A mooring chain keeps the system in place.
The wave energy converter was deployed at a location about 6 km off the coast, at a depth of 20 meters. The device is expected to generate 1MW of power from ocean waves in the next three years. The ocean wave energy converter is targeted towards remote offshore locations that require reliable electricity and communication.
“India has a 7,500 km long coastline capable of producing 54 GW of power, satisfying a substantial amount of the country’s energy requirement. Seawater stores tidal, wave, and Ocean thermal energy. Among them, the harnessing of 40GW wave energy is possible in India,” said Prof. Abdus Samad, Department of Ocean Engineering, IIT Madras. Even single devices in different locations along the Indian coastline can generate large quantities of clean power. We are also contemplating placing multiple devices in an array configuration for maximum wave power extraction from the location. Our vision is to make India sustainable by tapping the marine energy and net zero carbon emission to mitigate climate impact.”