Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) has selected IHI Corporation and Toshiba Corporation as co-researchers in a project to develop and to demonstrate an underwater floating-type turbine system for ocean energy power generation. The project is slated to continue until FY 2017.
|Ocean power generator with counterrotating turbines. Click to enlarge.|
The underwater floating-type ocean current turbine system is a power generation device with two counter-rotating turbines. It is anchored to the sea floor and floats like a kite carried and driven by the ocean current. IHI is the lead company in the co-research project and will manufacture the turbine and floating body. Toshiba will supply electric devices, such as the generator and transformer.
IHI and Toshiba, together with the University of Tokyo and Mitsui Global Strategic Studies Institute, have conducted R&D financed by NEDO’s “R&D of Ocean Energy Technology - R&D of Next-Generation Ocean Energy Power Generation (Underwater Floating Type Ocean Current Turbine System)” since FY 2011. The new demonstration research project is based on their work to date.
NEDO has promoted R&D projects in ocean energy power generation technologies since FY 2011, with the goal of developing world-leading technology and contributing to lower CO2 emissions in Japan. (Power generation driven by ocean energy from currents, temperature differences, tidal movements, waves, etc. is also undergoing study in Europe and the US.)
Ocean currents, such as the Kuroshio Current, are a natural energy resource with little fluctuation in flow regardless of time or season. In Japan, an island nation, success in converting the massive power of the ocean current will create a large-scale, stable power source.
IHI, established in 1853, is a multi-national leader in providing energy and chemical plants, physical distribution systems and steel structures, aero-engine and space technology, industrial machinery, shipbuilding and marine engineering, and mass-produced machinery.