Floating ocean platform harvests wind, solar and wave energy
German company Sinn Power has proposed a hybrid offshore power generation platform that combines wind turbines, solar panels and wave energy harvesters to generate off-grid electricity for people living close to the coast.
It's conceived as a modular system that can be specified with any or all of these features, depending on where it's being deployed and what your power needs are. Designed to handle waves up to six meters (19.6 ft) in height, it can harvest energy from waves up to 2 m (6.5 ft) high without the platform itself moving much at all, thanks to a series of floats that move 10-ft (3-m) pushrods up and down in response to wave activity.
Each of these can generate up to 24 kW in ideal conditions, and there's one at each corner of each 12 x 12-m (39.3 x 39.3-ft) floating unit. On top of that, you can place 6 kWp wind turbines at each junction point, and cover the entire top surface with solar panels, which could contribute up to a total of 20 kW to the final output of the unit. You can stick units together to scale the whole thing up.
Sinn Power is pitching this as a renewable power option for island resorts, particularly in the Caribbean, presumably with a sizeable cable snake to get the power back onshore.
Clearly, durability is the biggest question here. The sea can be a savage business partner: powerful, unpredictable and highly corrosive. Sinn Power speaks of "salt water resistant materials" and IP68 water-resistant componentry, but can these platforms be expected to produce energy for five years? Ten? Fifteen? Can they be relied upon?
The company has been around for five years at this point, and has working prototypes of similar wave energy harvesting systems installed, albeit attached to concrete walls and not floating. You can see them operating in the video below. Sinn Power currently looking for a solar PV manufacturer to partner with on a floating showcase platform in Greece.
Source: Sinn Power