Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co Ltd (MES) announced May 10, 2017, that it has set up Japan's first "mechanical wave power generation system" in the open sea off the Kouzu-shima island of Izu Seven Islands in Tokyo and started a verification test of wave power generation.
MES will check the effects of new operation methods, the resistance to heavy weather, etc.
A mechanical wave power generation system generates electricity by mechanically converting the vertical movement of a float (caused by waves) into a rotational movement. When waves hit the power generation system, (1) a float that looks like an abacus bead, (2) a bridge above the float and (3) a downward-facing rod attached to the center of the bridge move up and down at the same time. The total length of the system is about 13m. The diameters of the float and the spar (cylindrical part) are 2.7m and 1.0m, respectively. The weight-in-air of the system is about 10t.
MES minimized the installation area in consideration of (1) the improvement of power generation efficiency in the sea near Japan, where the power of waves is smaller than in Europe and the US, and (2) the coexistence with abundant fishing places. By using control technologies that MES has been developing for its wave making devices, a generator can be used as a motor to excite the system. As a result, it became possible to generate a larger amount of power.