So far, it seemed to be considered a given that a device for transforming the power of the tides into energy must be balancing over them. A recent research has turned the tables and achieved a technology that allows converting energy from the tides into a mechanism of rotation in an immediate way.
It consists of several modules fixed between two anchored buoys. According to researcher Mykhailo Lytovchenko, this technology is much more efficient than pendulum diagrams, because there is no loss of energy to overcome the alternating loads. “We have designed, manufactured and tested prototypes and we can say that our technology has several advantages over other known solutions in the segment of renewable energies,” he says.
Among these he highlights high efficiency with any tidal surge and survival in a storm; easy installation and easy maintenance; protection of the coasts from the erosion of the waves and without polluting the environment; a rather aesthetically pleasant image and with no interferences in the development of tourism.
When the wave grows the atmospheric force provides torque and when it decreases, gravity. In addition, the rotation starts in the same direction. “Thanks to this solution, our dynamic scheme is at least twice as effective as the Duck Scheme,” says Lytovchenko, who explains that individual coaxial modules come together in a section that provides increased power and smooth operation.
Tests of this technology in the Azov Sea have demonstrated a stable prototype operation under real conditions and have confirmed that this technology has a number of advantages over the solutions already known in the renewable energy segment and, consequently, will provide a lower electric cost, he explains.
The high-pressure pump and the mechanical filters are located inside one of the buoys. This mechanically removes the seawater impurities under atmospheric pressure of approximately 30 – 40 with a relief pipe carried to the coast. About 10% of the water is desalted on a reverse osmosis membrane and conveyed to a fresh water tank. The rest is transferred to a reservoir to compensate the pressure and generate electricity with a hydraulic turbine.
Lytovchenko explains that the resulting electricity can be sold to the grid, be used for recharging batteries or used for local consumption and that fresh water can be injected into a pipe or packaged for storage for future use.
“We already have the patent, the domain, the market knowledge, the results obtained from the tests and the manufacturing experience. Now, we are interested in getting funding to be able to produce our own series. In fact we are prepared to start the creation of an industrial design with an installed capacity of 50 kW that, according to our calculations, would allow us to produce 350 MWh of electricity and 60,000 cubic meters of fresh water per year, “he says.