Modec unveils Skwid hybrid turbine concept

Japanese marine contractor Modec has unveiled a hybrid offshore energy concept that marries a three-bladed vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) with a Savonius ocean-current turbine.

The Tokyo-based company’s slimline Skwid design, forseen for powering islands in remote locations, is calculated to have an output capacity of 500kW in winds of 13 metres per second (m/s) rising toward 1MW in velocities of 16m/s.

“By harvesting renewable energy from never-ending currents and strong and continuous ocean winds, the technology of the Skwid [will] provide cost-effective power generation with minimal environmental impact,” says Modec.

The Skwid’s 24-metre-diameter Darrieus VAWT has been modelled to capture twice the energy from its rectangular swept area as a similarly dimensioned conventional onshore turbine.

Its split-cylinder, bucket-shaped current turbine does double duty, serving both to jump-start the wind turbine as well as acting as a self-righting ballast to keep the machine erect at sea.

The floating foundation, moored via a four-line spread at a draft of 18 metres, houses the power generation assembly on a set of rubber mounts at deck-level to buffer it against wave motion.

“The Skwid is ideally suited for ‘stranded’ islands and isolated locations as a power source,” says Modec.

The Skwid is Modec’s first renewable energy design.