The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras and National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) researchers are working towards developing better turbines that can harness the power of ocean waves to generate electricity. Their most recent studies on turbine-chamber coupling have been published in the reputed peer-reviewed International Journal of Energy Research. The increasing demand for energy is one of the most challenging problems of the global economy, even survival, in the twenty-first century. Coupled with dwindling fossil fuel reserves and increasing awareness of pollution issues, there is now an urgent need to develop renewable energy options.
The research is being headed at IIT Madras by Abdus Samad, Associate Professor, Department of Ocean Engineering, who works towards extracting energy from the ocean waves. The work of Abdus Samad and his research team is aimed at meeting renewable energy and climate change objectives of the Government of India. Recent research by Abdus Samad’s group at IIT Madras, in collaboration with National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), is being funded by Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India, and focuses on improving the devices and machines used for wave energy harvesting.
The aerodynamic performance of the turbine plays a major role in the wave-to-wire conversion efficiency. The coupling between the hydrodynamic process of the wave energy absorption and the turbine’s aerodynamic process is affected by the interplay between the pressure in the oscillating water column and the airflow rate through the turbine.