Japan: MODEC Develops Floating Wind & Current Hybrid Power Generation System

Japan: MODEC Develops Floating Wind & Current Hybrid Power Generation System

MODEC Inc, based in Japan, has developed a floating wind and current hybrid power generation system, called SKWID (Savonius Keel & Wind Turbine Darrieus).

The SKWID is a floating wind and current hybrid power generation system capable of converting two inexhaustible ocean energy sources into abundant power. By harvesting the renewable energy from never-ending currents and strong and continuous ocean winds, the pioneering technology of the SKWID provides cost-effective power generation with minimal environmental impact.

The company exhibited a prototype of the system at the Wind Expo 2013 in Tokyo, held from February 27 to March 1, Tech On news site informs.

The omnidirectional turbine rotates regardless of the wind direction. Due to the location of the generator, the system has excellent stability with a low center of gravity, as well as excellent maintainability with easy access. The Darrieus’ rectangular swept area catches twice as much wind when compared to the circular swept area of typical onshore wind turbines of the same diameter and is therefore capable of delivering twice as much power from a single installation – far more power from the same wind farm area.

The split-cylinder-shaped buckets of the Savonius current turbine can harness any weak current and will rotate in one direction regardless of current direction. This turbine is insensitive to marine growth on the buckets and is harmless to the marine ecosystem, as it rotates slowly at the speed of the current.

The floating current power generation part is developed under a joint development agreement with NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization).

The float structure supports the power generation assembly via a set of rubber mounts like a gimbal to isolate the power generation assembly from the wave motion. The Savonius current turbine acts as a ballast, making the power generation assembly self-righting.

MODEC plans to test the units on land and the entire system on the sea during this year.

Offshore WIND Staff, March 5, 2013; Image: MODEC