A team of the University of Tokyo’s Institute of Industrial Science and other organizations have begun testing a wave power generator at a fishing port in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa Prefecture.
The equipment can generate electricity efficiently as it uses not only incoming waves but those bouncing back from breakwaters, the team said Wednesday.
“If we can verify the electricity-generating power, it’ll be possible to produce 100 to 200 kilowatts per unit,” which is enough to put the generator into practical use, Institute of Industrial Science professor Rheem Chang-Kyu said in an online news conference the same day.
“We would like to create (a generator) that can produce 1 million kilowatts of electricity, the equivalent of one nuclear power reactor, in 30 years and deploy it nationwide,” Rheem added.
The generator uses a rudder to use the force of the waves to push a hydraulic cylinder and generate electricity. The rudder, made of lightweight aluminum and flexible rubber, allows the generator to efficiently extract energy from smaller waves while ignoring waves that are too large.
The generator is capable of producing 45 kilowatts from 1.5-meter-high waves, according to the team.