The Oceanlinx turbine is a device for generating green energy from ocean wave power. Developed by the company Oceanlinx, the turbine uses the oscillating water column concept to convert ocean energy to electrical energy. Suitably equipped, the device can also be used as a desalination plant for converting sea water to potable water.
What is Oscillating Water Column (OWC)?
Oscillating water column is a patented technology of the company Oceanlinx. OWC consists of a narrow chamber which has a water column inside it. When water is in the narrow chamber, the air above it moves with high velocity into the turbine located just above the narrow chamber. The OWC has a specially designed turbine which generates energy during both strokes, i.e., while the water column moves upward and also while it moves downward. The turbine is connected to a generator which converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.
Working of Oceanlinx Turbine
The Oceanlinx turbine, though based on the same concept of OWC, has a slight modification in its working. Oceanlinx’s turbine consists of variable pitch blades, which not only rotates at a slower rate but also extracts maximum energy from the high velocity air. The blades of the turbine have a special automation system, which makes them turn according to the pressure of the incoming waves. This is done with the help of the sensors attached to the turbine, and allows the turbine to always turn in the same direction.,
The sensors also have pressure transducers that measure the amount of pressure exerted on the ocean floor, analyze the height and shape of the wave and send the signal to the blade angle controlling unit. According to the signal, the blades are adjusted to make the most out of the upcoming wave. The controller also controls the turbine speed according to the signal received.
Advantages and Applications
Tests of prototypes reveal that a single oceanlinx turbine can generate power in the range of 100 kw to 1.5 mw. The amount of power produced depends on the size of the waves and also the weather conditions. Moreover, the turbine can also be used as a desalination plant which can offer green energy for the reverse osmosis process. This fresh drinking water plant thus provides advantages such as no carbon emission, minimum brine generation, and no fuel or land need for establishment.
Also, the Oceanlinx turbine offers a simple mechanism with only one moving part and thus reduces maintenance. It is a robust technology that can be used in any weather condition.