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On-Shore Central Hydraulic Power Generation for Wind and Tidal EnergyTidal energy, offshore wind energy, and onshore wind energy can be converted to electricity at a central ground location by means of converting their respective energies into high-pressure hydraulic flows that are transmitted to a system of generators by high-pressure pipelines. The high-pressure flows are then efficiently converted to electricity by a central power plant, and the low-pressure outlet flow is returned. The Department of Energy (DOE) is presently supporting a project led by Sunlight Photonics to demonstrate a 15 kilowatt tidal hydraulic power generation system in the laboratory and possibly later submerged in the ocean. All gears and submerged electronics are completely eliminated.A second portion of this DOE project involves sizing and costing a 15 megawatt tidal energy system for a commercial tidal energy plant. For this task, Atlantis Resources Corporation's 18-m diameter demonstrated tidal blades are rated to operate in a nominal 2.6 m/sec tidal flow to produce approximately one megawatt per set of tidal blades. Fifteen units would be submerged in a deep tidal area, such as in Maine's Western Passage. All would be connected to a high-pressure (20 megapascals, 2900 pounds per square inch) line that is 35 cm ID. The high-pressure HEPG fluid flow is transported 500-m to on-shore hydraulic generators. HEPG is an environmentally-friendly, biodegradable, water-miscible fluid. Hydraulic adaptations to ORPC's cross-flow turbines are also discussed.For 15 megawatt of wind energy that is onshore or offshore, a gearless, high efficiency, radial piston pump can replace each set of top-mounted gear-generators. The fluid is then pumped to a central, easily serviceable generator location. Total hydraulic/electrical efficiency is 0.81 at full rated wind or tidal velocities and increases to 0.86 at 1/3 rated velocities.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Document Type
External Source(s)
Jones, Jack A.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Bruce, Allan
(Sunlight Photonics, Inc. South Plainfield, NJ, United States)
Lim, Steven
(Sunlight Photonics, Inc. South Plainfield, NJ, United States)
Murray, Luke
(Atlantis Resources Singapore)
Armstrong, Richard
(Maritime Academy Castine, ME, United States)
Kimball, Richard
(Maritime Academy Castine, ME, United States)
Cook-Chenault, Kimberly
(Rutgers Univ. New Brunswick, NJ, United States)
DeGennaro, Sean
(Rutgers Univ. New Brunswick, NJ, United States)
Date Acquired
April 16, 2015
Publication Date
February 12, 2012
Subject Category
Energy Production And Conversion
Distribution Limits
wind energy
tidal energy
hydraulic energy transfer

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