Pennsylvania, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] Ansys Inc., a developer of simulation software, announced that its software could help transform the forces of waves into electricity. Green Ocean Energy Ltd. is using technology from Ansys to develop devices that will reliably generate renewable power from the motion of the seas.
The project’s development process includes rigorous technical requirements, severe environmental conditions and strict product delivery deadlines. Green Ocean Energy is developing two devices that will harness the waters of the north Atlantic, the Ocean Treader and Wave Treader.
Both are designed to bob on the surface of the ocean while waves cause attached floating arms to move up and down to power on-board generators. Electricity is sent back to shore via underwater cables. Each machine is designed to produce 500 kilowatts (kW) of electricity. A farm of 30 such devices would have a capacity of 15 megawatts (MW).
Hydrodynamic and structural analysis tools from Ansys are being applied to address one of the primary challenges, reaching a balance between structural strength and weight restrictions. With an expected 25-year design life, the machines must withstand rough waters and gale-force winds while at the same time they must be lightweight to keep production costs within budget and to allow for sufficient floatation.
“Because prototypes cost over $3 million dollars each and take months to construct, numerous rounds of hardware test-and-redesign cycles are impractical,” said George Smith, managing director of Green Ocean Energy. “The virtual prototyping capabilities of the Ansys tools have been a critical element in getting the products to produce maximum energy output as well as to operate effectively for decades. As a result, engineering simulation is helping our company meet all technical requirements, deadlines and business objectives.”