Marine Electrical Energy from Chaotic Motion Generator

By George Backwell at January 10, 2014 22:20
Filed Under: Research & Development

Home-based inventors, inspired to give real meaning to the much over-used word ‘innovation’, are burning the midnight oil in garage workshops and on kitchen tables all over the world, but very few of them stay the course to get a device patented and glimpse commercial opportunities on the horizon. One of the few is British inventor Martin Wickett who went on to found the small business WITT Energy (aided by his wife Marie) with aims to develop and capitalise on his ‘Whatever Input to Torsion Transfer’ (WITT)  device.

Energy from chaos
The WITT technology is capable of collecting chaotic motion in any direction clockwise, anti-clockwise, up and down and back and forth at any speed to turn a flywheel and create electricity.

The system has numerous potential applications in the marine environment - sea, river or tidal - from lighting navigational buoys to GPS systems, or even the charging of a moored boat’s batteries. The size of the device can match the requirements of the application – from a diminutive few centimeters, right up to several meters.

Whatever Input to Torsion Transfer Device: Image courtesy WITT

WITT lists the following advantages

    •    No impact on the environment, a truly green solution
    •    Tried and tested industry components with a 'fit and forget' transmission system
    •    Totally sealed from the environment and aesthetically pleasing
    •    An affordable price

A UK and European patent has been granted and core countries worldwide are pending on the basis that there is no other energy harvesting device capable of collecting all 6 degrees of motion. The business opportunities addressed are the renewable energy market for both industrial and consumer markets.

Support for WITT
In 2012 the device won a £190,000 ($305,000) development grant from the UK Technology Strategy Board, and then late in 2013 it took home the $100,000 Gulfstream Navigator Award.

A project to advance the technology –  ‘Energy Harvesting Technology from Vessel Motion’ –  led by the  UK’s A&P Falmouth (Cornwall) shipyard, and Devon-based Supacat is presently working on the design together with the inventor and the Universities of Plymouth and Exeter. They have already come up with a prototype device that can be used in water.

Paul Weston, Renewable Energy Technical Manager, for A&P Falmouth Limited and Project Lead for the consortium comments: “This project clearly demonstrates the resource, diversity and commitment that the South West [of England] can offer in the Renewable Sector and how both academia and industry can work together to establish a new product that can deliver and reduce the cost of electricity. The funding made available from the Technology Strategy Board – the UK’s innovation agency, has unquestionably assisted in the development of this project. ”

Click here to see a video of the device working in water.

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