MSU Geographers Invent an Unique Floating Power Plant

Макет парусной установки. Фото: А.М. Залиханова
Макет парусной установки. Фото: А.М. Залиханова

A sailing catamaran with a hydraulic turbine under the bottom capable of converting wind and wave energy into electric current, and also serving as a pleasure boat or a floating cafe, was developed at the Faculty of Geography of Moscow State University. The unique power plant will be indispensable in those coastal areas where the construction of permanent structures on land is impossible for various reasons.

"Wind-driven power machine", the patent for the invention of which was received by the scientists of the Research Laboratory for Renewable Energy Sources of the Faculty of Geography of Moscow State University, after some revision may appear on the market. It can be used off the coast, river banks, lakes and lagoons.

Wind and sails drive the floating power plant and rotate the turbine under the bottom. The vessel converts the energy of two media at once – air and water. The anchor and maneuvering system allow to set a cyclic route in a specific area. The resulting electricity can be used on the catamaran itself or transferred to the shore.

The invention of the geographers of Moscow State University can be recommended for recreational or nature protection zones, areas with a high density of infrastructure, or places with difficult engineering and geological conditions for construction. It is practically safe for aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

"In these situations, the floating sailing device developed by us has no alternative. An additional advantage is the mobility of the device. It can be easily moved around the water, depending on changes in energy needs," said one of the inventors, Candidate of Geographical Sciences, researcher at the laboratory, Kirill Degtyarev.

According to him, the use of a floating power plant in the ice-free waters of the Black and Caspian Seas looks especially promising in Russia. There, it can work all year round.

The catamaran can be not only a source of energy. On board, you can set up a cafe, a diving platform, a swimming platform. The vessel is also suitable for organizing sightseeing excursions along the coast

A model of the vessel was tested in March and April, 2021. Improvements have significantly increased the speed of the catamaran. This will make it possible to generate more electricity.

"Ahead are more accurate calculations of energy and economic efficiency, full-scale tests. Only after that it will be possible to consider the vessel as a potential commercial product. The next stages of work are associated with rather high costs, requiring the search for and attraction of grants or investors who are ready to finance projects during the research and development stages. And we intend to move on in this direction," quoted the words of Degtyarev, the press service of the Faculty of Geography of Moscow State University.

How the device operates is described in the article "Wind-driven power machine, transforming energy of two environs". It was published by the journal "Environmental Earth and Energy Study".