A revolutionary device for generating marine renewable energy has been awarded a £190,000 development grant by the Technology Strategy Board, the total value with ‘in kind’ contributions being £300,000
The Whatever Input to Torsion Transfer (WITT) transmission system is unique and capable of collecting chaotic movement in any direction to turn it into useable power.
The Technology Strategy Board award for Vessel Efficiency is the first of its kind and follows successful testing of the device in the Wave Tank at Plymouth University and in Plymouth Sound, UK.
The project, Energy Harvesting Technology from Vessel Motion, will be led by A&P Falmouth Limited, with Devon-based Supacat working on the design together with the inventor Martin Wickett from WITT and the Universities of Plymouth and Exeter to advance a new patented technology.
The 10 month project will commence on 1st July 2013, with the consortium working on the technology, the aim is to capture ‘pitch and roll’ motion and turn it into power, which will reduce the amount of fuel a ship will use on normal day to day tasks.
The system has numerous potential applications in the marine environment – sea, river or tidal – from lighting navigational buoys to GPS systems and the charging of boats when moored.
The WITT system has many other applications, for example it can also be used on land in a backpack, utilising all motional energy from walking or jogging and converting it into energy that can be stored and used as and when needed, charging appliances etc, also to illuminate pedestrians or animals in the dark. It could also be used for GPS tracking systems for endangered species.
The WITT is capable of using all six degrees of motion, clockwise, anti-clockwise, up and down and back and forth at any speed to turn a flywheel to create electricity.
Paul Weston, Renewable Energy Technical Manager, for A&P Falmouth Limited and Project Lead for the consortium added, “This project clearly demonstrates the resource, diversity and commitment that the South West can offer in the Renewable Sector and how both academia and industry can work together to establish a new product that can deliver and reduce the cost of electricity. The funding made available from the Technology Strategy Board – the UK’s innovation agency, has unquestionably assisted in the development of this project. ”
Photo: Paul Weston, A&P Marine Renewable Projects Manager