K. Male' | Aishath Shaany | 10-April-2018 | Tuesday 09:38 | Shaaknee | Local | 2,502
The Ministry of Environment and Energy has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST), to test their Wave Energy Converter Units in the Maldives.
According to Renewable Energy Magazine, the prototypes are currently being shipped to the country, and the initial trial is to start this month, along the shoreline of the southeastern part of Kandooma resort in South Malé atoll. Researchers are to monitor the wave energy from the power house on Kandooma, as well as remotely from Japan using web cameras.
The experiment ‘will involve installing two half-scaled Wave Energy Converter prototypes with 0.35-meter turbines’.
This will be followed by ‘two full-scaled prototype models with 0.7-meter diameter turbines’, which is to be installed in September this year.
The aim of the project is to ‘diffuse full-scaled production models of Wave Energy Convertor units throughout the Maldives’.
The special Wave Energy Converter Units were designed by OIST’s leader of Quantum Wave Microscopy Unit, Professor Tsumoru Shintake and his colleagues, and can capture energy from surf waves along the shoreline and convert it into usable electricity. The project was launched in 2013.
According to the professor, there are ‘three reasons’ why the Maldives is an ideal place to test their prototypes; location, lack of central power plant to transmit energy between islands and because ‘each and every island is elevated only a few meters above sea level’.
Further noting that these islands might be influenced by the current global warming environment, and are facing a certain geophysical impact, i.e. the gradual rising of the sea level, Shintake said that Maldives ‘is a symbol of global climate change’.
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