IIT Madras develops, deploys device to generate electricity from sea waves

The researchers at IIT Madras developed and deployed the 'Ocean wave convertor' that enables generation of electricity from sea waves.


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IIT Madras researchers develop 'Ocean wave convertor'. (Picture: Press Release)IIT Madras researchers develop 'Ocean wave convertor'. (Picture: Press Release)

Ishita Ranganath | December 5, 2022 | 01:23 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras have developed the 'Ocean wave convertor' that enables generation of electricity from sea waves. The trials of the device were successfully completed during the second week of November.

IIT-M partnered with a start-up named Virya Paramita Energy (VPE), and Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology (MNNIT) Allahabad, for the trials. The electrical storage system for the project was designed by GKC Institute of Engineering and Technology and MCKV Institute of Engineering, West Bengal while Waterfront Engineering and Infrastructure private limited assisted in deploying the system in the ocean.

The IIT-M device was deployed about 6 kilometers off the coast of Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, at the dept of 20 meters. This device aims to produce one million watts (1 MW)of powers using ocean waves in the next three years. The success of the project will fulfill objectives including the UN Ocean decade and sustainable development goals (SDGs). India's goals in the environmental sector include deep water missions, clean energy, becoming a blue economy along with the goal to generate 500 giga watts of electricity by 2023 through renewable energy.

Also Read | Just 3% IIT Madras faculty from SC, ST; PhD admissions in IIT-B violate reservation: Report

The Ocean wave convertor has been 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 major stakeholders for this device are the oil and gas, defence and security installations and communication sectors.

A team of researchers along with IIT Madras, department of ocean engineering, professor, Abdus Samad have been working on this project. Samad has also established a state-of-the-art ‘wave energy and fluids engineering laboratory’ (WEFEL) at IIT-M. This lab is also working on researching other applications for this technology such as producing power for smaller devices for the ocean like navigational buoys and data buoys, among others.

This project has received funding through the ‘innovative research project’ of IIT Madras, technology business incubator (TBI-KIET) under the department of science and technology (DST), Nidhi-Prayas Scheme and Australian Alumni Grant Scheme 2022 by department of foreign affairs and trade, Australian government.

Highlighting the impact of this project, Samad 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.” He further added “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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