A Hybrid Energy Capturing System

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The success of an Oscillating Water Column (OWC) installation off the west coast of Scotland suggested a compounded system as in the following outline.

Wave pumping of air in an OWC through Wells Turbines has an expensive control set up which can be inexpensively simplified by using a single Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) in place of the two turbine Wells system within the ducting.

Enhancing the flow through characteristics of the VAWT by using bifurcated ducting and valves provides from, both air flow directions, a maximum output from the turbine which leads to an increase in power output and system efficiency.

In conjunction with the OWC system a twin contra rotating paired VAWT installation atop of a monolithic dome construction fully utilizes power from prevailing winds as follows.

1...The paired VAWTs use the tip vortexes of one to enhance the power output of the other realizing a 40% increase in power out put from the system.

2...The Monolithic Dome profile provides a skewed air flow into the turbines amplifying the turbine output because of the more favourable rotor power pick up.

The Monolithic Dome also provides greater structural integrity to the construction at lower costs than conventional reinforced concrete methods.

The side bar sketches show (top) a conventional OWC installation using Wells Turbines

(middle) this Proposal overlaid on the conventional OWC, with 3D graphics showing system characteristics and (lower) a ghosted view from the rear showing valves etc.

The valve arrangement within the duct work allows for the shuttling of the airflow to the working half of the VAWT reducing the drag component as the air flow direction changes.

The valves are driven by a system which looks at the wave characteristics approaching the installation. The inflow conditions to the valves are then adjusted to best match the required flow into the ducted VAWT

Using VAWTs on the Dome to exploit the skewed flow shows there is a significant power increase from the turbines (reference Dutch studies). The dome configuration with its rounded contour provides locally enhanced flow conditions.

Depending on the orientation of the installation, PV Solar Panels attached to the Dome exterior provide the solar part of this hybrid installation (the use of Fresnel lenses increases the overall efficiency) and the battery storage installation within the dome would be an advanced Aluminum based system


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  • Name:
    John Mitchell
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