IIT Madras researchers develop device to generate electricity from sea waves
The researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) have developed an ‘Ocean Wave Energy Converter' to generate electricity from sea waves. The trials of the device have been completed during the second week of November 2022. The device, as per an IIT Madras statement, was deployed at a location about six km off the coast of Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, at a location with a depth of 20 metres. This device targets generating 1MW of power from ocean waves in the next three years, the institute said.
The success of this project will help fulfil several objectives including UN Ocean decade and sustainable development goals and India's goals including deep water missions, clean energy and achieving a blue economy. It could help India meet its climate change-related goals of generating 500 GW of electricity by 2030 through renewable energy, the institute said.
IIT Madras has partnered with a start-up Virya Paramita Energy (VPE) Pvt. Ltd., and Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology (MNNIT) Allahabad, for this test. The electrical storage system was designed by GKC Institute of Engineering and Technology and MCKV Institute of Engineering, West Bengal, while Waterfront Engineering and Infrastructure Pvt Ltd assisted in deploying the system in the ocean.
The IIT Madras device is targeted towards remote offshore locations that require reliable electricity and communication either by supplying electric power to payloads that are integrated directly in or on the device or located in its vicinity as on the seabed and in the water column. The targeted stakeholders are the oil and gas, defence and security installations and communication sectors.
IIT Madras faculty Professor Abdus Samad, who has been working for over a decade on wave energy, lead the mission. He established a ‘Wave Energy and Fluids Engineering Laboratory' (WEFEL) at IIT Madras. His team designed and tested a scaled-down model. The lab is also researching other applications for this technology such as producing power for smaller devices for the ocean like navigational buoys and data buoys, among others.
Highlighting the impact of this project, Professor Abdus Samad, Department of Ocean Engineering, IIT Madras, said, “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.”
Professor Samad further added: “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.”
The project received funding support through ‘Innovative Research Project' of IIT Madras, TBI-KIET under DST Nidhi-Prayas Scheme and Australian Alumni Grant Scheme 2022 by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Government.