Hybrid wind, tidal power turbine to be installed off Japanese coast

Tokyo-based Mitsui Ocean Development & Engineering Co. will install a hybrid wind power system off the coast of Japan before the end of 2013.

The 500 kW Savonius Keel & Wind Turbine Darrieus, or SKWID, is a hybrid system featuring an omnidirectional Darrieus wind turbine and a Savonius tidal turbine, which share a floating axis, according to RenewableEnergyWorld.com.

A power generation assembly sits between them at deck level, anchored by a set of rubber mounts to a floating semi-submersible platform. The system will be able to generate power from either or both sources.   

The wind turbine will have a hub height of 154 feet and a rotor diameter of about 50 feet, according to Mitsui.

Addressing the issue of stability, the company says the tidal turbine acts as ballast, making the assembly self-righting, and that the location of the generator at deck level creates a low center of gravity as well as offering easy access for operations and maintenance. The Savonius tidal turbine is suited to harvesting energy from weak currents, MODEC says, and its rotation can be used to start the wind turbine spinning in low wind conditions. 

MODEC is an offshore technology company specializing in floating oil and gas production systems.

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