Sindhuja-I: IIT Madras successfully generates energy from sea waves, aims to go commercial by 2024

In India’s quest to generate 500 GW of electricity by 2030, clean energy, deep water missions and a blue economy, researchers at IIT. Madras have successfully developed an ‘Ocean Wave Energy Converter’ that can generate electricity from sea waves.

According to I.I.T. Madras, the trails of the device, which was deployed at a location about 6KM off the coast of Tuticorin, in Tamil Nadu, at a location with a depth of 20 metres, were completed during the second week of November 2022.

Prof. Abdus Samad, Department of Ocean Engineering, I.I.T. Madras, who led the mission, emphasized on goals of making India sustainable by tapping marine energy and net zero carbon emission to mitigate climate impact.

Harnessing 40 G.W. wave energy is possible in India as the country has 7,500 km long coastline capable of producing 54 G.W. of power, satisfying a substantial amount of the country’s energy requirement,” Prof Samad said.

Nations like the US, UK and Israel are generating energy through this route. However, India has marked its presence in this technology for the first time. We are planning to go commercial by 2024,” Prof. Samad told Business Standards.

Prof. Samad established a state-of-the-art ‘Wave Energy and Fluids Engineering Laboratory (W.E.F.E.L.) at I.I.T. Madras while his team designed and tested a scaled-down model. He further confirmed that his team is also researching other applications for this technology, such as producing power for smaller Ocean devices, like navigational and data buoys, among others.

Explaining the reason behind naming the device ‘Sindhuja-I’, Prof. Samad said that ‘Sindhuja’ means something which is ‘generated from the ocean.’

The Sindhuja has a floating buoy, a spar, and an electric module. The buoy moves up and down as the wave moves up and down. In the present design, a ballon-like system called a ‘buoy’ has a central hole that allows a long rod called spar to pass through it

The spar can be fixed to the seabed, and passing waves will not affect it, while the buoy will move up and down and produce relative motion between them. The relative motion gives rotation to an electric generator to produce power. In the present design, the spar floats, and a mooring chain keeps the system in place,” Prof. Samad said.

Professor further claimed that even single devices in different locations along the Indian coastline could 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,” added Prof. Abdus Samad.

I.I.T. Madras revealed that the highly-anticipated project received funding support through the ‘Innovative Research Project’ of I.I.T. Madras, TBI-KIET under the DST Nidhi-Prayas Scheme and Australian Alumni Grant Scheme 2022 by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Australian Government.
Notably, I.I.T. Madras partnered with a start-up Virya Paramita Energy (V.P.E.) Pvt. Ltd., and Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology (M.N.I.T.), Allahabad, for this test.

The electrical storage system was designed by G.K.C. Institute of Engineering and Technology and M.C.K.V. Institute of Engineering, West Bengal. Waterfront Engineering and Infrastructure Pvt Ltd assisted in deploying the system in the Ocean,” informed I.I.T. Madras.

Speaking about this project, Mr. S.S.A.K. Karthik of Virya Paramita Energy (V.P.E.) said, “Ocean has enormous opportunities, and exploring with proper technology is the need of the time.” I.I.T. Madras and V.P.E. have a joint development agreement to commercialize the technology.

With inputs from Business Standard and IIT Madras

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