“This work was carried out within the framework of the WEAMEC, West Atlantic Marine Energy Community, and with funding from Nantes Metropole”
The energy ship is a new concept for offshore wind energy capture. It consists of a wind-propelled ship that generates electricity using water turbines attached underneath its hull. Since it is not grid-connected, the generated energy is stored aboard the ship (for instance, using batteries or through conversion to hydrogen using an electrolyzer).
This concept has received little attention until today. Particularly, there had not been yet an experimental proof-of-concept. In order to bridge this gap, an experimental platform has been developed at Centrale Nantes. It consists of a 5.5 m long catamaran equipped with a 240 mm diameter water turbine. The platform was tested in July 2019 on the river Erdre (France). Results show that the energy ship concept can deliver high levels of power production (megawatts); and that it is essential to optimize the water turbine induced drag in order to maximize energy production.
Keywords: offshore wind energy, energy ship, experiments