Japanese engineering company IHI unveils a prototype of a 30-ton turbine system that uses ocean currents to generate electricity.
Trials of the first 100 kW model will begin this fall and will last for over a year. Prototype set at a distance 10 km off the coast of one of the islands of the Japanese prefecture of Kagoshima at a depth of 100 m.There, the turbine will use the Pacific current Kuroshio, one of the strongest in the world, to generate electricity.
IHI will begin commercializing the technology in 2021, and plans to build a huge 200 MW subsea facility by 2030. According to technical and economic calculations, the future farm will be able to produce 1 kW at a price of about $ 0.18.
Since the operational efficiency of subsea generators ranges from 50% to 70% (which is significantly higher than the indicators of offshore wind turbines and solar panels), after 2030 the company intends to open one new complex every year and expand its geography of presence on the coasts of the United States and Taiwan..
The cost of manufacturing one IHI subsea generator is estimated at $ 9.25 million.
Recall that in January Siemens launched the world’s first 10 MW wind turbine with a 193-meter propeller..
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Nikkei
Energy 101: Electricity Generation