VESSEL REVIEW | Nankun – Chinese-built floating generator powered by wave energy

VESSEL REVIEW | Nankun – Chinese-built floating generator powered by wave energy

Photo: China Classification Society

China Southern Power Grid has begun operating a new floating power station designed to store and supply electricity generated by ocean waves.

Named Nankun, the triangular structure was designed and developed by the Guangzhou Energy Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in compliance to the China Classification Society’s Classification Specifications for Offshore Mobile Platforms. Construction was undertaken at the facilities of Guangdong COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry.

Photo: China Classification Society

The 3,500-square-metre, semi-submersible structure has a length of 300 metres, a beam of 88 metres, and a displacement of approximately 15,000 tonnes. The structure consists of a power generation platform, a hydraulic system, a monitoring system, and an anchor chain system that will allow it to be deployed in water depths of between 30 and 100 metres.

Each one of the three sides of the structure has five floating plates that are driven upward and downward by the movement of ocean waves. The plates then cause hydraulic rods to move back and forth to generate hydraulic energy. The resulting wave energy is then converted into green electrical energy of stable output for eventual distribution to end users such as homes and businesses. Specifically, the structure can generate 24,000 kWh of electricity per day under full load conditions, and this can provide enough green power for about 3,500 households.

There is no need for additional crew accommodations to allow long-term stays, as the entire platform is designed to be remotely monitored and controlled. Solar panels are also fitted on the structure to generate additional electricity.

Nankun is presently deployed off the coast of the city of Zhuhai in Guangdong province where it will undergo operational trials.

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Type of vessel: Floating power station
Classification: China Classification Society
Owner: China Southern Power Grid
Designer: Guangzhou Energy Research Institute, China
Builder: Guangdong COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry, China
Length overall: 300 metres
Beam: 88 metres
Displacement: 15,000 tonnes
Other equipment installed: Solar panels
Operational area: Guangdong Province, China

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