IIT Madras Researchers Make Device To Generate Electricity From Sea Waves

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Chennai: Researchers at Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) have developed an ‘Ocean Wave Energy Converter’ that can generate electricity from sea waves. The trials of this device were successfully completed during the second week of November 2022.

The Device was deployed at a location about 6 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 success of this project will help fulfil several objectives such as the UN Ocean decade and sustainable development goals. India’s goals include 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 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 Prof. Abdus Samad, who has been working for over a decade on wave energy, leads the mission. He established a state-of-the-art ‘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, Prof. 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.”

Further, Prof. Abdus Samad said, “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.”

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