Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
WAVES COLLECTION SYSTEM FOR ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION BY MEANS OF HYDRAULIC TURBINES AND CURRENT GENERATORS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2012/011018
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
System for generating energy from the sea waves comprising a tank positioned in such a way that it exploits the low waves as well, which is provided on a wall with openings provided with means able to capture the water of the waves breaking thereon, thus allowing its inlet and avoiding its outlet so that the free water level accumulated in the tank is at an height higher than the one of the calm sea; communication ducts between the tank and the sea, passing across the tank wall opposed to the one equipped for capturing the waves; turbines positioned therein for the production of electric energy.

Inventors:
MAELLARO, Giulio Teodoro (Via Adige 32, Brindisi, I-72100, IT)
MAELLARO, Vito Mosè (Via Dalmazia 21/E, Brindisi, I-72100, IT)
MAELLARO, Cosimo (Via Cipro 6, Brindisi, I-72100, IT)
FRASCINO, Felice (Via Ciardi Guglielmo 8, Brindisi, I-72100, IT)
FRASCINO, Antonio (VIa Imperatore Costantino 17, Brindisi, I-72100, IT)
Application Number:
IB2011/053091
Publication Date:
January 26, 2012
Filing Date:
July 11, 2011
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
GLOBAL ENGINEERING CONSTRUCTIONS SRL (VIa Gallipoli 71, Brindisi, I-72100, IT)
MAELLARO, Giulio Teodoro (Via Adige 32, Brindisi, I-72100, IT)
MAELLARO, Vito Mosè (Via Dalmazia 21/E, Brindisi, I-72100, IT)
MAELLARO, Cosimo (Via Cipro 6, Brindisi, I-72100, IT)
FRASCINO, Felice (Via Ciardi Guglielmo 8, Brindisi, I-72100, IT)
FRASCINO, Antonio (VIa Imperatore Costantino 17, Brindisi, I-72100, IT)
International Classes:
E02B9/08
Domestic Patent References:
2008-06-19
2008-06-19
Foreign References:
US1868087A1932-07-19
GB2445945A2008-07-30
GB2451627A2009-02-11
US1868087A1932-07-19
DE3029087A11981-02-19
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LAFORGIA, Domenico (Laforgia, Bruni & Partners srlVia Michele Garruba 3, Bari, I-70122, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. System for generating energy from the sea waves comprising :

- at least a tank (1) provided on a wall with openings (7) provided with means (8) able to capture the water of the waves breaking thereon, thus allowing its inlet and avoiding its outlet so that the free level (14) of water accumulated in the tank (1) is at an height higher than the one of the calm sea;

- at least a communication duct (13) between the tank (1) and the sea, passing across the tank wall opposed to the one equipped for capturing the waves, configured in such a way that the water accumulated in said tank (1) is discharged in a sea section not exposed to the direct action of the waves ;

- one or more turbines (2) positioned inside said duct for exploiting the potential energy of the water accumulated in the tank (1) to produce electric energy;

characterized in that

the tank is positioned in such a way that also in low tide condition, the lower openings (7) are under the sea level, thus allowing to exploit also the low waves which are provided in low tide condition .

2. System according to claim 1, characterized in that the tank is arranged close to the tidal barriers on the outer side exposed to the surges, positioned or directly near to the barrier (D) or at a certain distance, in parallel to the same barrier .

3. System according to claim 1, characterized in that the tank is arranged close to the breakwater barriers on the outer side exposed to the surges, positioned or directly near to the breakwater barrier (C) or at a certain distance, in parallel to the same breakwater barrier.

4. System according to claim 1, characterized in that the tank is in isolated position to protect the coast, in parallel and at distance from the coast .

5. System according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that said means (8) able to capture the water of the waves breaking thereon, thus allowing its inlet and avoiding its outlet, comprise movable sluice gates (8) hinged to the upper portion.

6. System according to claim 5, characterized in that each movable sluice gate (8) opens automatically the corresponding gap (7) under the effect of the action of the wave water arriving and closes automatically the corresponding gap (7) under the effect of its proper weight and of the action of the water which tends to go out from the gap.

7. System according to claim 5 or 6, characterized in that the gaps (7) are realized on independent panels (16) to which the movable sluice gates (8) closing said gaps (7) are hinged.

8. System according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the panels (16) to which said means (8) able to capture the water of the waves breaking thereon thus allowing its inlet in the tank 1 and avoiding its outlet are hinged, are movable and constrained to the supporting structure of the tank (1) by means of guides (6) for directing the motion when the same panels are lifted.

9. System according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the longitudinal wall of the tank not exposed to the waves diverges upwards with respect to the capturing following a linear or curvilinear profile .

Description:
Waves collection system for electricity production by means of hydraulic turbines and current generators

The present invention pertains to the field of the exploitation of renewable and sustainable energy of the sea waves, even of low ones; the aim of the present invention is to produce electric energy with features such that the inlet in a transmission electrical power network is allowed, although the main source generating it is highly irregular. Alternatively, the electric energy produced by means of the inventive object can be used for supplying accumulation forms of energy, such for example the hydrogen production, by means of water electrolysis or other process known at the state of the art.

In the state of the art, there are known systems for capturing the energy of the waves, in particular of the great oceanic waves, which apply systems and principles other than the inventive object and which, therefore, are not suitable to be applied for exploiting the irregular and low waves. The document US 1868087, for example, describes a system for capturing the energy of sea waves, where it is provided a turbine positioned on the average calm sea level.

The document DE3029087 describes a hydroelectric system comprising a barrier positioned on the average sea level allowing the accumulation of water so that it results a reduced hydraulic gap. The system comprises some canalizations and a turbo-generator unit which exploits such hydraulic gap.

The document WO2008/072241 describes a system for lifting and so accumulating the water transported by the waves to a level higher than the average one of the calm sea and subsequently for exploiting the potential and kinetic energy in turbine.

The applications known in the state of the art are limited since they do not allow to exploit low waves, which form in low tide conditions and which are very irregular. It is important to exploit this kind of wave motion since it is the kind of wave motion which is provided in many situations, and in particular in systems positioned near the coast, close to tidal barriers or breakwater barriers as it will better described in the following. It is not needed to be underlined that the systems positioned near the coast are those which provide, for clear proximity reasons, the lowest costs of installation, connection and maintenance.

Aim of the present invention is therefore to provide a system for capturing the energy contained in the sea waves, which is particularly efficient for exploiting the irregular and low waves as well. This and other advantages will be clear from the following description of the present invention which refers to the accompanying figures 1 - 3.

Figure 1 shows a side section view of the device object of the present invention arranged close to a tidal barrier,

Figure 2 shows a side section view of the device object of the present invention arranged close to a breakwater barrier;

Figure 3 shows an axonometric view of the device according to the present invention.

As it is shown in figure 1, the system object of the present invention comprises at least a tank (1) able to capture the water of the sea waves. According to a preferred embodiment, such a tank can be positioned close to and on the outer side of tidal barriers (D) or breakwater barriers (C) . The tanks (1) can be positioned directly near the barrier (D) or breakwater barrier (C) , as it is shown in figures 1 and 2, or at a certain distance, in parallel to the same barrier or the breakwater barrier .

The tidal barriers (D) are those marine structures realized for the protection of harbours; they are structures in concrete and separate the calm sea (side B) , as it is protected by the same barrier, from the open sea (side A) which, in favourable conditions, can be rough sea. Analogously the breakwater barriers (C) are those marine structures realized with an assembly of rocks arranged in parallel to the shore, functioning as protection of the littoral from the erosion of the surges, separating the calm sea (side B) as it is protected by the same barrier from the open sea (side A) .

The tanks can be also arranged isolated, in parallel and at a suitable distance from the coast for the protection of the littoral from the erosion of surges, thus being also able to function as protection of the coast, which is generally peculiar to the tidal barriers or the breakwater barriers, as it is shown in figure 3. With the tanks in isolated position, it is provided a separation between the calm sea (side B) , as it is protected by the same tank, and the open sea (side A) .

In each of the described embodiments, the tank (1) comprised in the system according to the present invention is always in an interposed position between two opposed sea sections, the one (side A) characterized by the presence of waves coming from the open sea, the other (side B) by the absence of waves as it is positioned on the side protected by the same tank (1) or by the tidal barrier (D) or by the breakwater barrier (C) .

For a natural phenomenon, according to which the lines perpendicular to the wave front are mainly perpendicular to the coast line too, it results that the side A towards the open sea of the tanks is mainly parallel to the wave front. The side B, opposed to the side A, faces a surface of calm sea as it is protected by the same marine structure. The wall of the tank (1) facing the side A is equipped to allow to capture the water of the waves breaking thereon allowing the inlet in the tank of the water transported thereby and avoiding its outlet. Due to this functioning mode, the tank supply is episodic and inconstant, and occurs in concomitance with the wave breaking. With regards to the tank positioning, the wave breaking occurs as the same time along the whole wall interested by the wave front.

The water captured in the tanks accumulates with its potential energy at an height (H) higher than the free "calm sea" level arranged on the side B. The potential energy contained in the water accumulation thus created can be so exploited to produce electric energy by actuating hydraulic turbines (2), which are coupled to current generators (3) , and put in motion by the transfer of water accumulated by the accumulation tank (1) in the surface of calm sea arranged on the side B. The tank (1) is supplied by filling itself when the wave comes, to tend then to empty itself before the next wave arrives. Inside the tank, the hydraulic head is continually variable and so it is equally variable the water flow crossing the turbines and as a consequence also the characteristic parameters of the electric energy produced notwithstanding the presence of suitable flywheels change. The electric energy produced can be input in the net only upon stabilization or used to produce hydrogen.

To optimize the system functioning in each tank (1), it can be conveniently provided a proper number of discharge ducts (13), in each of which being installed a turbine (3) so that it is possible to adjust, in certain limits, the flow rate supplying each turbine (3) bu opening and closing a portion of the discharge ducts (13) according to the inlet flow rate in the tank (1) which in turn depends on the height of the waves. The number of the active discharge ducts is to selected such that the tank is allowed to be almost completely emptied between a wave and the other one. The number of functioning turbines is then related to the sea condition.

According to a preferred, not limiting embodiment of the possible applications of the present invention, the tanks (1) can be ballasted, variable in width in proportion to the height and in particular can be divergent upwards, as it is shown in the section views of figures 1 and 2 and 3. As a way of example, the tanks can be long between 4.00 and 8.00 m at the average level of the free "calm sea" in low tide condition (indicated by the symbol 00 in figures 1, 2 and 3) . The tanks (1) can be realized in concrete or other suitable material possibly provided with suitable coatings, realized as independent modules, between 40.00 and 50.00 m long each.

As it is said, the capturing wall of the tank exposed to the waves is equipped to allow the water inlet but not the water outlet. Conveniently this wall can be realized in two portions: the lower portion (4) immersed both in calm sea condition and low tide condition, can be realized in concrete as the remaining portion of the tank (1), while the portion which is not immersed (5) in calm sea and low tide condition is made up of a series of independent panels (16), indicatively between 5 and 6 m long. The upper edge of the immersed portion (4) of the wall of the tank (1) is positioned so that it is immersed, for example at a depth approximately between 1.00 and 1.50 m, also in low tide condition. As a consequence, the lower portion of the capturing wall formed by panels (16) is always immersed as well.

The panels (16) of the capturing wall can be conveniently realized in steel or composite material, can be arranged in vertical or inclined position and be constrained to the supporting structures of the tank (1) by means of guides (6) able to allow the extraction of the same panels for cleaning and maintenance purposes.

Each panel, suitably dimensioned to resist to the stresses deriving from its usage, is provided with openings (7) developing horizontally which make up the gaps through which the water of the sea waves goes into the tank. These openings (7) can be conveniently of length equal to the maximum one allowed by the length of the same panel and of length for example between 40 and 60 cm.

The openings (7) are provided on the whole development of the panel. Each opening (7) is provided with a movable element (8) able to close the corresponding opening (7) . Such a movable element (8) can be realized by means of a movable sluice gate (8) constrained to the panel (16) at the respective gap by means of hinges (9) arranged in the upper portion of the sluice gate (8) such that the sluice gate (8) can swing inwards the tank (1), but not outwards of the same. In absence of outer stresses, the sluice gate (8) takes spontaneously the vertical or almost vertical position corresponding to the closing position of the respective gap (7) in the panel (16) . As it is described, the system, made up of panels (16) having openings (7) closed by the movable sluice gates (8), allows to receive the water transported by the waves, but not to let it going out. In practice the movable sluice gates (8) function as check valves for the water of the waves .

The seabed (11) near the tanks, in case of low seabed, can be shaped according to an inclined plane which from the natural floor goes to the upper edge of the immersed portion (4) of the wall of the tank exposed to the waves (side A) in order to exalt the kinematic portion of the energy of the sea waves.

The wall (10) opposed to the capturing wall, as for the portion emerging at the calm sea level, can be conveniently realized inclined following the linear or curvilinear profile so that the tank width is divergent with the height. As a way of example, the wall (10) can be inclined, following a linear profile, for a height of at least 2.50 m with an angle between 45° and 30° with respect to the horizontal. The portion of the wall (10) which is on the inclined portion, can be inclined as well or it can be realized vertical indifferently. In the rear portion (10) of the tank (1) at discrete intervals there are realized communication ways with the sea surface protected by the waves of the same tank (1) . Such communication ways comprise recesses (17) provided with extractable vertical grids (12), from each of them an immersed duct (13), with convergent-divergent geometry, departing in orthogonal direction to the tank direction. The duct goes out from the tank going into the calm sea surface arranged on the side B, if present crossing the body of the tidal barrier (D) or the body of the breakwater barrier (C) . Inside the duct (13), at the restricted section, there is the impeller of a hydraulic turbine (2), directly coupled to an axis-generator of tight kind (3) .

Conveniently the duct can be provided at the mouth with suitable closing gate which is to be actuated if needed, which, inhibiting the water passage allows to inactivate the same turbine. This allows to adapt the number of the supplied turbines (2) in relation to the sea condition.

The tank immersed bottom is to be found at a distance of at least 1.00 - 1.50 m with respect to the lower edge of the discharge duct to contain the possible sand accumulation. The tank can be stiffened by transverse buttresses (18) in concrete, positioned in the upper end of the tank, which connect the two longitudinal walls at the structures where the guides (6) are housed, which constrain the panels (16) located on the capturing wall.

Suitable buildings, not necessarily immediately near, can be conveniently realized at the system disposal to house all the apparatuses for controlling and managing the same system, as well as for controlling the energy flow produced and the possible hydrogen production.

Finally, the system according to the present invention is advantageous with respect to the applications known in the state of the art in that it allows to discharge the fluid in a substantially calm section of sea, whose height can be considered constant. Such advantage is obtained by positioning the tank such that the same is in an interposed position between two sea opposed sections, the one (side A) being characterized by the presence of waves coming from the open sea, the other one (side B) by the absence of waves as it is arranged on the side protected by the same tank (1) or by the tidal barrier (D) or by the breakwater barrier (C) . Moreover the system positioning under the calm sea level in low tide condition allows to exploit the low waves as well which arrive in low tide condition as well, thus increasing the functioning times of the system.

These and other advantages are obtained by means of a system for capturing the energy of the sea waves as defined in the following claims.