Energy / Climate Change

January 9, 2009


Kyushu University Research Team Discloses Plans for a Mega Hybrid Power Plant on the Ocean

Keywords: Renewable Energy University / Research institute 

Kyushu University announced details for a large-scale hybrid power generation system on the ocean, on July 8, 2008. This is the world's first research and development project of this kind, and will be jointly conducted by the University's Graduate School of Engineering and a research group studying super carbon fiber (SCF), a new carbon-fiber material.

The system will consist of two main floating bodies made of SCF concrete and numerous sub-floating bodies placed at regular intervals. The floating units are flexible, like water lilies, as they are loosely connected by newly developed materials that are resistant to impact, corrosion and abrasion. Each sub-floating body will be equipped with highly corrosion-resistant solar panels, while the main bodies will be loaded with large-scale wind turbines with wind lenses. This enables hybrid power generation incorporating photovoltaic and wind power.

The SCF concrete floating bodies are cheap, strong and rustproof, and have a hexagonal truss structure with a channel. The semi-submarine style gives them good wave stability and decreases the tide inhibition rate. Construction costs are projected to be 100,000 to 150,000 yen (about $952 to $1429) per kilowatt (kW), which is far lower than the break even point of 250,000 yen (about $2381) per kW for wind power generation by New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

The research team explained that the system will enable at-sea generation at the one-million-kilowatt level within ten years. The team also noted that generating and storing large amounts of hydrogen from sea water can lay the foundation for a recycling-hydrogen society.

- Kyusyu University

Posted: 2009/01/09 06:00:15 AM