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Lure-type Ocean and Tidal Current Power Generation Apparatus  


Outline of Apparatus The apparatus consists of a fishing-lure-like floating body with a water-receiving plate attached to its bottom, and a pendulum-type generating unit. When the floating body is anchored to float the apparatus in a water current, Karman vortices generated behind the water receiving plate induce a rolling motion of the floating body. Since the apparatus does not use a water turbine, it does not suffer from the conventional drawbacks of ocean current power generating units, such as failures caused by deposits and drifting articles. The operating portion of the apparatus is contained in the floating body, floating on the sea surface, so that maintenance work can be performed easily. A simple water receiving plate instead of a water turbine is used in the apparatus, allowing large units to be constructed and generate a large amount of electric power, thereby reducing power generation costs.

A. Self-excitation type(Figure 3)
Located away from the center of the rolling circle of the floating body (11), the rotator (14), made of a heavy plate, rotates around the rotation shaft (14a). When the rotator (14) is on the opposite side of the rolling direction, the rotation of the rotator (14) accelerates due to the self-excitation phenomenon. When the rotator (14) reaches the opposite side of the rotation shaft (14a) and the rolling motion reverses, the rotator (14) is subject to a force that keeps it rotating in the same direction. As a result, the rotator (14) rotates in synchronization with the rolling cycle. This rotating force can be used to run the generator (17) via a transmission (15) to generate electric power.
This method is suitable for small floating bodies (ships) with a short rolling cycle, such as those used in rivers.

B. Gravitational force type  (Figure 1)(Figure 2)
A heavy pendulum part (16) is attached to the rotation shaft (14) at the center of the rolling circle of the floating body (11), with a rotating disc rolling along a guide rail. As shown in Figure 2, when the pendulum part is lifted by the rolling motion of the floating body, a two-way clutch (17) fixed to the rotation shaft (14) is opened to allow the pendulum to roll down, and thus the rotation shaft to rotate. This rotating force can be used to run the generator (18) via a speed-increasing gear to generate electric power. The pendulum part (16), remaining in the lower position due to the generator load torque, is lifted again on the opposite side by the rolling motion in the reverse direction. Intermittent power generation repeats in this way.
This method is suitable for large floating bodies with a long rolling cycle, such as those used for ocean current power generation.
The pendulum-type generating units are categorized into the following two types:
A: Units that operate with the aid of the self-excitation phenomenon, much like the ball of a den-den daiko, a Japanese traditional drum, which is accelerated by swinging;
B: Units that operate with the aid of gravitational force.


Reference Signs List

 

[0038]
10 Running water generator
11 Floating body
11a Housing
12 Anchor
12a Chain
13 Water-receiving plate
14 Rotation shaft
15 Guide rail
16 Pendulum part
16a Support
16b Rotating disc
17 Two-way clutch
18 Generator

[0053]
10 & 20 Running water generator
11 Floating body
12 Anchor
13 Water-receiving plate
14 Rotator
14a Rotation shaft
15 Transmission
15a Shaft
15b Small-diameter spur gear
15c Large-diameter spur gear
16 Motor
17 Generator

 
   





 
When generation efficiency is 30% for an apparatus equipped with a water receiving plate of 50 m × 50 m = 2,500 m and floated on the sea at a current speed of 1.4 m/s, its output is calculated as approximately 1,050 kW, as shown in the patent application document. These estimates are for a power generation base with 100 units of the apparatus arranged on the sea.
The annual profit of such a setup will amount to 23 billion yen at a purchasing price of 25 yen/kWh.
If the costs required for annual inspection and repair including losses due to suspension of operation take 10 million yen per unit, the expenditure for the 100 units will amount to 1 billion yen.
Accordingly, when the depreciable life of the apparatus is five years, it will make a profit of 110 billion yen during the period.
Therefore, if the installation of a power transmission cable from a location 100 km off the coast costs 10 billion yen as part of the initial cost, the power generating base will be profitable when expenditures required for mooring and fabrication of the apparatus are 1 billion yen or less per unit. Adapting decommissioned ships for the apparatus is expected to reduce fabrication costs further and thus increase the profit.
In addition, using the floating body of the apparatus as a base for an ocean wind power generation unit will further increase its profitability.


  Patent : Japanese patent A:No.4913919 B:No.4969709 





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 Makoto Yasukagawa, Director of Morito Senai Hospital
 8-13 Hitokita-nishi, Moniwa, Taihaku Ward, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture
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