Fluventum, a Combined Wind and Wave Energy Converter
based on the existing ‘ideol’, a floating offshore wind turbine foundation, felix theurer and yannick apfel have designed ‘fluventum’, a concept that generates electricity by both wind and waves. combining these two energy sources together in one plant provides a number of synergy effects.
the ocean waves are propagated inside the chamber where the body of air above is forced to oscillate. a steel structure covers the damping pool to force the air above the water column through turbines. to limit forces exerted on the structure during operation, there is a minimum total airflow diameter.
as part of a renewable energy project at the technical university of munich (TUM), the engineers settled on a configuration with four symmetrically arranged turbines. in order to reduce the amount of the expensive generators, two turbines are mounted on the same shaft, with two pieces in total, each driving one generator. for maximum energy capture, bidirectional wells turbines with symmetrical airfoils are used.
the wave energy converter is mounted on a floating foundation (ideol) of an offshore wind turbine
to avoid interference with the wind turbine, the four-wave energy turbines are installed horizontally — by opening the steel cover, the airflow through them can be reduced. this is useful to not only control the speed of the turbines but also for maintenance purposes and to prevent damage during heavy storms. integrating wave power plants into wind turbine foundations generates synergy effects.
costly infrastructure and its installation on the ocean is shared by both types of power plants. the concrete ring serves not only as the foundation for the wind turbine but also as the chamber for the oscillating water column. one undersea cable connects both plants to the grid — this leads to cost and volatility reduction while increasing the amount of clean power.