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IIT-Madras devises system to generate power from sea waves

Researchers of Indian Institute of Technology Madras have devised a system to generate electricity from sea waves

The scientists at Indian Institute of Technology Madras have developed and deployed a system capable of generating electricity using energy from sea waves.

This system, christened as Sindhuja-I has been stationed by the researchers about six kilometres from the coast of Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu where the depth of the sea is 20 metres. At present Sindhuja-I can produce 100 watts of energy and this can be scaled up to produce one megawatt of energy in the next three years.

Explaining the concept to the media, Abdus Samad, Professor at the Department of Ocean Engineering at IIT-M, who led the research said that generating power for a city or a part of the metropolis with wave power would be expensive. Yet for remote places like an island and/or an offshore location, where transporting power over the sea would be costly, using waves for generating power at that spot itself would be comparatively cost-effective.

In the Sindhuja-I system there is a spar, a floating buoy, and an electrical module. With the oscillation of the waves, the buoy moves up and down. A hole at the buoy’s centre allows the spar to pass through it while the spar itself is fixed to the seafloor ensuring that waves do not move it. When the buoy moves while the spar does not, waves produce a relative motion between the two. The relative motion is used by an electric generator to produce power.

The system can be useful for defence, oil and gas and communication sectors and security installations.

The success of this project will help India to fulfil several objectives including the UN Ocean Decade and Sustainable development goals, and the country’s targets regarding deep water missions, clean energy and blue economy.

Generating electricity through waves will enable India to meet its climate change-related goals of generating 500 GW of electricity by 2030 through renewable sources.

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