Technology Summary

Turbine-Integrated Hydrofoil or Turbofoil®


Integrated Power Technology Corporation™ Renewable Energy Portfolio, Turbofoil® Off Shore Energy Production


   One type of mobile structure patented, continuation patent pending, and trademarked in the United States with pending patents in Japan is called the Turbine-Integrated Hydrofoil, or “Turbofoil®”. Offshore wind resources offer burgeoning opportunities but face regulatory delays, installation and maintenance difficulty, susceptibility to damage from severe weather, and aesthetic objections. By utilizing wind prediction and tracking technologies; and through its novel exploitation of wind and hydropower resources in a concurrent energy extraction and delivery process, the Turbofoil® will expedite installation and facilitate maintenance, eliminate regulatory and aesthetic objections, diminish the environmental impact compared to typical offshore wind farms while attaining a positive net energy earlier upon implementation, and uniquely prosper from severe weather conditions.


    While many patents exist for harnessing energy from pneumatic and hydraulic sources, relatively few have considered a mobile structure to facilitate delivery of energy and maintenance and servicing of the structure. For instance, existing offshore energy systems obviously do not adequately address delivery of energy considering their distance from the shore, the actual distribution center. These structures also impede maritime traffic and present maintenance difficulties especially in severe weather conditions.


Integrated Power Technology Corporation™ Renewable Energy Portfolio, Turbofoil® Off Shore Energy Production


    Another limitation of prior art overcome by the Turbofoil® is that the density of water is approximately seven hundred seventy four times greater than air and thus a wind turbine must occupy an area seven hundred seventy four times greater than a hydrokinetic turbine in order to yield equivalent power given equal velocity of the motive fluids. Because total power output is cubically proportional to motive fluid velocity in a turbine, any turbine will capture twice more power for motive fluid velocity improvement of only twenty six percent. For instance, within the range of typical wind turbines, one’s capacity factor doubles merely by capturing energy in 9 m/s winds compared to 7 m/s winds. In equal velocity motive fluids, because water is about seven hundred seventy four times denser than air near 0° Celsius, the designer attains a substantially smaller system form-factor and therefore lower materials cost for equivalent energy yields by utilizing water to move the turbine and high altitude winds to pull the turbine through the sea. A Turbofoil® equipped vessel configured with a parasail to exploit consistent high altitude winds of substantial force but lower turbulence in stable conditions yields the highest capacity factor. Thus, utilizing weather prediction and tracking to enhance the capacity factor and eliminating the cost of deep water cabling more than compensates for the cost of energy storage inefficiency.


   Existing structures utilizing hydrokinetic turbines yield power limited by the velocity of the motive fluid converted from wave motion alone. In contrast, a sailing vessel of limited drag may achieve velocities greater than the wind velocity thus illustrating one way in which the Turbofoil® optimally uses the advantages of combining hydraulic and pneumatic mediums. Even fewer of today’s offshore systems so far have addressed the need to reduce drag caused by the mobile structure while engaged in the motive fluid. As the hydrofoil design provides lift to an energy extracting sailing vessel, some seawater passes through the gate of the turbine along the foremost edge of the hydrofoil thereby generating DC for hydrogen electrolysis or charging batteries. Also integrated within the hydrofoil exists a hydrogen electrolyzer whereby the motive fluid for the turbine is also the electrolyte for the generation of hydrogen, as well as the coolant for the electrolyzer electrodes.


   Integrated remote control simultaneously optimizing the reduction of drag, the combined exploitation of hydraulic and pneumatic energy mediums, delivery of renewable energy to a central distribution location that controls the apparatus based on wind speed probability data, and the integration into a singular mobile combined generation and delivery system with means to optimally respond in a controlled manner to changes in velocities of the media exemplify the novelty and substantial competitive advantages of the Turbofoil®.


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