Hydrokinetic energy (otherwise known as wave energy) is a field of enormous potential and still little exploited today. This is why it is particularly interesting Triton, the new project of the startup Swings Power: a generator developed to harness the energy of the ocean by converting the mechanical power of the waves into electricity.
A Triton generator consists of a surface float and a submerged reaction ring. If several Tritons are connected, an entire offshore power grid can be created. The system can produce roughly the same power as an onshore wind turbine, at the same price.
Multimodal energy capture
The crucial difference between Triton and others devices that exploit the wave motion it is in the kind of movement that they can convert into energy. If others can only take advantage of vertical movement, this is not the case with the Triton generator. Its special surface float can extract energy from ocean waves in all six degrees of freedom (lift, pitch, yaw, roll, soar and yaw).
Result? The energy capture efficiency of the Triton is much higher than that of conventional devices.
A less expensive and more reliable generator
The conversion of mechanical energy into electrical energy is ensured by three hydrostatic and hydraulic transmissions, whose electrical outputs are combined to obtain superior quality power. Power variability is reduced by accumulation using a supercapacitor.
The float of the Triton is connected to the reaction ring by flexible tendons. Therefore, the installation is quite simple and inexpensive compared to other devices of the same type. A normal tugboat can easily move the generator and everything needed to make it work: installation requires neither specialized ships nor heavy transport vehicles.
How does it hold up in extreme conditions?
In order for the Triton generator to survive in extreme ocean conditions, Oscilla Power has implemented specific approaches.
For example, as weather conditions worsen the float can be defused by adding ballast water, lowering the buoyancy reserve and altering natural periods. In this way, Triton will continue to produce energy even under these conditions.
A reliable and safe system, which can greatly improve the performance of the wave motion and constitute a strong aid to the development of hydrokinetic energy.