Optimization of costs is one of the problems that have arisen in the use of deep sea currents to obtain energy, which is why the members of the Technological Research Group on Marine Renewable Energy (GITERM) of the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM) have successfully developed procedures and designs to reduce the necessary expenses.
After developing systems for obtaining wind power at sea, groups of researchers have come to the conclusion that the next source to be explored is the energy to be obtained from the seabed, but the cost of installation and maintenance of the devices resulted. a very expensive task, which is why this team focused on solving such pitfalls.
The method developed by this team, consisting of the analysis of the life cycle cost of an electricity generation park promises to be used in the early stages of the devices used for this purpose.
Reduced installation and maintenance thanks to an anchor.
The approximate estimate of obtaining energy from the tides is estimated at around 80%, in areas deeper than 40 meters. Reaching this conclusion, with the desire to use a device in those areas, where the price of installing first generation equipment is very high, we are looking for a second generation element that is used by means of a series of cables and anchors. stay anchored to the bottom of the sea, which they called GESMEY, thus succeeding in partially reducing installation and maintenance costs compared to other systems.
Several years ago, UPM’s GITERM team started working in this direction. According to Amable López, professor of architecture, construction and ocean and naval systems, as well as one of the members of this group, “the GESMEY device, patented by the University, was the first design tested at sea all over the world, it proved to be suitable for totally submerged work“. It also ensures that, thanks to this cost analysis tool developed, “we were able to evaluate different design alternatives with a final goal; reduce the cost of energy production as much as possible and make this renewable source competitive“.
GESMEY device based on anchoring systems and new generators.
The basic design of the GESMEY device starts from the evolution of the anchoring system, moving from generators with large rotor – like wind turbines – to generators with several rotors – like the previous one called Hive TEC also patented by the UPM-, those – these have reduced the estimated cost of power generation is 30%.
Although the work does not end with the results exposed, the research team continues its work to be able to successfully commercialize devices like this in the future, which they call tidal, moved by the great potential as the generation of energy through ocean currents.