Mechanical Engineering students create design for energy extraction and storage from waves
By 2050, the energy supply in the Netherlands will have to be almost entirely sustainable. In addition to energy extraction from natural sources, energy storage is still a major challenge. Is there a technical solution for simultaneous extraction and storage? More than 500 first-year students from TU Delft’s Mechanical Engineering programme worked for six months on a wave energy accumulator, which converts the energy from the movement of waves into the rotational energy of a flywheel. The design that performed best technically was given an award during the Design Competition on 9 June 2022.
There is a lot involved in such a mechanical design. ‘The challenge lies in designing a float that extracts as much energy as possible from the movement of the waves. But also in a transmission that converts the upward and downward movement of the float into a rotating movement of a flywheel. And a transmission to bridge the distance between the float and the flywheel. Finally, the flywheel must be able to store the energy,’ says Regine Vroom, coordinator of the entire education project. In addition, various requirements were set regarding safety, material, finish and cost of the design.
The students actually manufactured and tested the designs. This year, the Design Competition took place at the Bouwcampus, as part of the Energy Challenge Event for TU Delft’s anniversary celebrations. Student team WB07 managed to store the most energy from the waves in their flywheel and therefore won the contest. A number of other student teams also won awards; members of the jury from Design Solutions, Huisman Equipment B.V., Green-mE, Science Centre and the trade association Energie uit Water assessed which designs performed best from their point of view according to their own criteria.
The 2022 Design Competition received considerable media attention. Any publications will be added to this news release in due course. More information about the annual design contest of the BSC Mechanical Engineering programme