The benefits of solar, wind, and wave energy have been highlighted by environmentalists for some time now. Yet most countries still continue to rely on traditional solutions with only modest efforts made to transform into these renewable energy resources. The problem is the price of the solutions themselves. While in theory, they are a fantastic solution, in reality, they run at high costs, require maintenance, and need the weather to do its part. A new design from a German startup may have changed the entire cost structure based on its unique design.
The German startup SINN has created a modular design to provide renewable energy. The idea is so simple and so brilliant it is a wonder it has never been thought of before, yet that is what people always say when they first see an incredible invention. The modular technology is set up as a platform in the ocean. The platform will float on the ocean and in its base use will harness wave power to create energy. This product can be altered in size and fitted with as many wave energy converters as required.
Once you decide how big the platform will be you can then add solar panels to the surface to capture sunlight if it is plentiful in the area. As you have already put in the main cost for the platform the addition of solar panels is relatively low. Finally, you can also choose to add some wind turbines to the platform if there is a considerable wind in the area that you are placing the platform. Again with the sunk costs already invested the addition of small wind turbines makes sense.
The design has caused a lot of excitement in the energy community. It is relatively low cost as the platforms are not using a lot of expensive material (they basically look like floating scaffolds). It is highly dynamic as the size of the platform can be changed based on energy requirements and the type of renewable energy used can change based on the local environment. This solution is like lego for renewable energy where you add and take away pieces based on your needs.
Every unit comes with a standard four wave-converters and the more units you add to the overall platform determines how many wave-converters you finalize on. From there they can add 20Kw photovoltaic cells, again the number of cells you choose depends on how big the platform is. Finally, you can add small 6 kWp wind turbines to the platform as well with an average of four per unit. Of course, the key part of the solution and how attractive it is is how customizable it is for each customer.
The platform uses advanced sensors to warn of any maintenance required before it results in a fault meaning there will be very little downtime for the energy solution. The startup is still at an early stage of development though. The design has been fully tested and is believed to work well. The next stage is to take the show on the road and show potential customers how good the solution can really be. SINN state that many European nations have already sent interested parties to view the solutions that the company will be in a position to start selling in Autumn of this year.
The latest development shows that solar can be used in innovative and surprising ways to provide energy to the masses. We need to look more into these renewable sources and quickly as time is running out and our dependency on fossil fuels can’t last. The modular design is key to the success of SINN’s solution and its incredible adaptability is a lesson for all energy providers.