An illustration of how the WuHu power-generating fish farm may look. Image: FIS.

China builds wave power fish farm prototype

A semi-submersible aquaculture platform that harnesses ocean wave energy has been developed by the Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion (GIEC), part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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The platform integrates multiple functions including power generation, deep-sea aquaculture and tourism.

According to a report by the Xinhua news agency, some traditional aquaculture cages have problems including poor resistance to wind and waves, insufficient energy supply and inability to carry modern aquaculture facilities.

Based on decades of experience in ocean wave energy development, researchers developed the semi-submersible platform that can harness ocean wave energy and received patents from China, Japan and the European Union.

Prototype platform

A prototype of the platform, built by the China Merchants Industrial Group, Weizhou Island, has been delivered to GIEC, which will cooperate with companies to test it in a marine environment and further improve it.

GIEC has previously developed a 10 kW floating wave energy converter “Sharp Eagle 1” and followed that by launching its 120 kW Sharp Eagle “Wanshan” off Wanshan island at Zhuhai in December 2015. The 36-metre long, 24-metre wide device is a combination of a semi-submersible barge and a wave energy conversion device which can generate electricity under wave conditions with wave height of less than 50cm.

To increase output, the device has since been equipped with a complementary multi-power system, with wave power uprated to 200 kW, 50 kW solar panels, batteries and inverters, as well as data acquisition, monitoring equipment and satellite transmission.