Monday, April 18, 2011

No. 266: Low-cost floating type power generation plant on the ocean (April 18, 2011)

A subsidiary of IHI, one of Japan’s leading heavy industries companies, started to develop a wind generation plant on the ocean without a weight. By giving a twist to the floating body, the company plans to halve the introduction cost required to install the existing floating wind generation plant. In alliance with University of Tokyo, IHI Marine United has been conducting experiments using a model about one fiftieth of the actual model, and successfully has paved the way to practical application. The floating body system is in greater demand than the implanted system in Japan because Japan’s home waters are deep, though the former costs two times as much as the latter because it needs a weight. However, IHI’s new technology that employs a highly stable floating body has made it possible to build the floating system at almost the same cost required to build the implanted system. The IHI’s model to be built in the waters about 50-200 meters deep will have an output of around 5,000 kW, and the wings are about 120 meters each. The construction cost is three billion yen, and the company plans to build several tens of plants per year in 2020. It is estimated that power generation on the ocean will reach 5,800,000 kW, which is equivalent to the output of six nuclear power plants, in 2030.

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