In a wave powered electric generator system, multiple floatation devices are interconnected by torque arms arranged to convert pivotal movement of the torque arms due to up and down movement of the floatation devices, into one-way rotational movement of electric generator shafts, the torque arms being configured to permit expansion and contraction of their lengths when exposed to sudden, severe axial forces.
Since the initial concept design, a 1:30 scale model of the wave powered electric generator has been fabricated and tested in the 44.5m wind-wave channel and hydraulic wave tank at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Defense Innovation at Tampa Florida recognized the technology as a 2017 DefenseTechConnect Innovation Awardee. Only 15% of all innovations submitted to the Defense Innovation Summit (DITAC) were selected for this Award. It has also garnered interest from Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems (RMS) C4 & Undersea Systems (C4USS).
We will resume research at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography with a1:30 scale model and results of previous research as the baseline. Continued research and development under this project will consist of testing technical feasibility and cost competitiveness for the target market, design development and scale testing to decrease system risks and validate numerical performance modeling and identifying and decreasing system risks early in the development process. Preliminary design, numerical modeling, and, to the extent practical, scale testing validation has been completed.
Twin Ocean Power is a unique and innovative energy conversion platform comprising of three floatation devices arranged serially to each other developed to capture the ocean wave movements and converting them into electricity through the up and down motion of the floatation: two floatation devices next to each other always moving up and down at the opposite direction to create the maximum energy.
These motions are then transferred to the torque arm, which rotates the axles. The interconnecting mechanism and the torque arms are configured to permit expansion and contraction of their lengths. The driving ocean wave force acting on each floatation device raises it upward, and the gravity of each floatation device pulls it downward. The torque arm captures the up and down movement which is created by the ocean wave and gravity, thus rotating the driven axle in clockwise and counter clockwise motion.The gearing system connected to the driven axle is specifically designed to convert the rotation from two directions of low rotation into one direction of high rotation. The overload clutch controls the torque being transferred from the gearing system to the flywheel, preventing the electric generator from overheating while maintaining the smooth operations of the flywheel.
The device is designed to float on the water’s surface while securely anchored to the seabed. For cost considerations, two or more devices can share a common anchor point. The same can be applied to output power lines, multiple devices can be connected to one conjunction box that transfers the electricity to the main line for usage. To expand the system, new sets of devices can simply be added to the current system by placing them side by side to each other and connecting their conjunction boxes together. Some key features of this patented technology include:
- Efficiently capture of ocean wave motion
- Efficiently convert the rotation motion into electricity
- Fully functional in high tide, low tide and in between
- Completely above-water mechanism to simplify maintenance
- Ability to operate anywhere in the ocean
- Suitable for cost effective mass production
- Direct gearing rotation minimizes energy loss
Innovation and Impacts
It is important to note that the Twin Ocean Power technology is state-of-the-art because it uses a mechanical gearing system to transfer kinetic energy into motion rotation to generator therefore there is little to no loss of energy from gear friction. Most wave energy converter technologies fall into one of the following categories:
- Oscillating water column
- Point Absorbers
A few examples of includes Ocean Power Technology (OPT), Columbia Power and OSU. As Point Absorber technologies, a large portion of the body is stationary and only the remaining portion can capture energy. Pelamis converter, the attenuator, is positioned perpendicular with the wave column (parallel with the wave direction) so there is only partial lay on top of the wave crest and/or wave trough therefore it does not maximize the kinetic differential (energy capture). Most energy converters on the market are using hydraulics to pump fluid to the turbine to produce electricity which causes loss of energy during conversion.
Twin Ocean Power technology is designed to use the entire body to capture energy. It is a completely new technology that converts wave power directly to electricity. We call it “seesaw power” because it is like a seesaw rocking; when one side moves up or down, the other side is moving in the opposite direction. This process creates the largest kinetic energy differential and will produce the most electricity.
The Twin Ocean Power technology is economically designed and does not require extensive labor or maintenance to maintain the high quality of the system. In addition, the system has a sound structure for long lasting use. The interconnecting mechanism and the torque arms are configured to permit expansion and contraction of their lengths. The driving ocean wave force acting on each floatation device raises it upward, and the gravity of each floatation device pulls it downward. The torque arm captures the up and down movement which is created by the ocean wave and gravity, thus rotating the driven axle in clockwise and counter clockwise motions. The transmission connected to the driven axle converts the rotation of the axle in both directions into high speed, producing one-way direction rotation and driving the electric generator to produce electricity. The system can increase amounts of electrical production by implementing more devices into a system as needed.
The Twin Ocean Power device will allow us to replace carbon-intensive energy, generating sources to significantly reduce U.S. global warming emissions by using renewable energy. Generating electricity by using the Twin Ocean Power device rather than fossil fuels offers significant public health benefits. The air and water pollution emitted by coal and natural gas plants are linked to breathing problems, neurological damage, heart attacks, and cancer. Replacing fossil fuel with wave generating energy technology will reduce premature mortality and lost workdays, and it will reduce overall healthcare costs.
The major impact of this technology is in how the energy will be generated efficiently. Its development will aide in our fight against global warming to ensure a future that is dependent on renewable resources that are currently at our disposal. Producing electricity by using natural resources, such as ocean waves through the invention of the wave energy system will reduce our overall dependency on limited and depleting fossil fuels.
Twin Ocean Power will not only supply renewable and reusable clean technologies, but it also has the potential to increase jobs for those who will have to build and install the systems. The advantages of creating and implementing such a system are endless and will have a major impact on our environment in general. Thorough strategic planning will identify areas in which the Twin Ocean Power will aid in producing energy more efficiently. We must immediately begin initiating processes and procedures that will secure our future. Producing electricity by using natural resources, such as ocean waves and the invention of the Twin Ocean Power will improve our overall dependency on energy sources that are damaging our ecosystems.