Qusi Alqarqaz writes via IEEE Spectrum: In August I spoke with Philipp Sinn, founder of Sinn Power, a German green-energy startup founded in 2014. This year he and his colleagues began building and testing the world’s first ocean hybrid platform. The floating platform uses a combination of wave, wind, and solar energy to harness renewable energy on the open seas, Sinn says. The company has been testing the structure, which has attracted investors, energy experts, scientists, and government officials from all over the world to Heraklion, the largest city on the Greek Island of Crete.
The wind, wave, and photovoltaic platform is scalable in capacity and can be designed to generate 80 kilowatts to power small houses by the coast and up to 2 megawatts to industrial buildings, Sinn says. The technology can be adapted to customers’ needs and location requirements, he adds. He acknowledges that the maritime environment is challenging. All the energy systems on the platform contain sensitive components and power electronics that must not be exposed to any fluids, he says.
To cope with such conditions, the company developed a product family consisting of electric machines, power electronics, and storage solutions, all of which comply with International Protection Code 68, which classifies and rates degrees of protection provided by mechanical casings and electrical enclosures against intrusion, dust, accidental contact, and immersion in deep water. “We see [our company’s] technologies as a movement toward a sustainable future,” Sinn says. “The goal is to provide people all over the world with clean, reliable, and affordable energy harnessed from the power of the ocean.” “Development of ocean-energy production — from concept to commercial release — has been a slow, expensive process,” writes Alqarqaz in closing. “For the industry to succeed, it is essential to get financial support from governments all over the world. It is also important to strengthen the cooperation between countries, especially with regard to joint projects and the exchange of technology.”