The Impact of Hybrid Devices on Energy Generation

In the contemporary world, there has been an emergence in the massive use of technology. As a result, energy industries have adopted hybrid devices to generate energy from multiple sources, for instance, wind and waves. In conquering the challenge of energy insufficiency caused by a single energy extraction mechanism, hybrid devices are now becoming a solution in the extraction site because of the ability to scavenge energy from multiple sources.

They also can convert the energy into electrical power through several mechanisms; hybrid devices can improve energy conversion. Therefore, hybrid extraction is categorized into single-source and multi-source hybrids, both with the tool (Lau et al., 2019). Generally, multiple sources of energy usually coexist alternatively or a time simultaneously. The generation of wave energy in the ocean is mainly due to wind energy because a single source of energy extraction cannot scavenge the total amount of existing energy; hence, a lot of energy is under wastage. For this reason, a multi-source hybrid device has been adopted as an integrated device with a diverse energy conversion mechanism and configuration. For that reason, there is a significant improvement in output power when multiple energy sources exist alternatively or simultaneously.

A hybrid system jointly uses more than one energy source depending on available local energy resources to produce energy. The system can combine one or more sources, including wind power, diesel, or water. The success or failure of their implementation is dependent on the reliability of the use to the supply of capacity, and the cost of energy production. A wind-diesel hybrid system is commonly used (Abd et al., 2020). The main components include a wind turbine and generator using diesel for the system to run efficiently and increase reliability; other components like energy storage, energy dissipation, and controlled charges may be employed (Lau et al., 2019). It is worth noting that the wind-diesel system was among the early methods adopted and was operated in Mexico City in 1977 with a capacity of 200kW for wind energy.

With the emergence of hybrid devices, there are both advantages and disadvantages, the following are the advantages of a hybrid wind/wave system; The bottom-fixed hybrid wind-wave energy lack of floating bodies which reduces the risk of accident hence low or no insurance cost. Again, power from the wind and waves can have balance on one another and the energy from the waves can help to smooth power fluctuations when there is less wind. This ensures the continuous harnessing of energy by the system, unlike when there is a single source of energy. Also, the possibility to reach deep waters wave and wind resources most of the wave materials are in deep waters like the Atlantic Ocean (Lau et al., 2019). In a hybrid wind/wave system, the amount of energy generated would be twice higher than the amount generated by wind alone operating on a single mechanism.

The synergies of both wind and waves are what make it possible. The other benefit of the system is that additional efficiencies are possible with offshore wind farms and wave energy parks combined. If the system can be on same ocean environment to create more power, it would also imply less demand on space around water bodies that can be used to accommodate other activities like fishing and shipping. Finally, less cost in incurred in the installation as compared to construction of wind and wave plants for generating energy due to shared foundation system.

However, there are also disadvantages resulting from the bottom-fixed hybrid wind-wave system. Extra costs are incurred for installation and in the production and installation of the system foundation whereas a bottom-fixed wind turbine can efficiently and easily be used in the WEC foundation (Perez-Collazo et al, 2014). Similarly, there is extra load of the structures as they consist of very bulky equipment for both floating and fixed-hybrid system devices. Also, another challenge is that not all wind turbines are used since there is variation in wind speed in different areas depending on the season. During very windy seasons, the amount of energy harnessed by fixed hybrid system is higher in such areas, whereas wind energy harvesting can be lower when there is low wind speed.

The system is also expensive to foot as it requires a higher initial capital to install both the fixed and floating hybrid system, it can be cheaper when only a single source is installed instead of the wind-wave system. The government or only established wealthy firms affords such expenses. Another challenge is that there are many WECs and no design convergence therefore WECs has to produce power in a sea state and survive very stormy conditions. This increases the risk, complexity and cost of hybrid system (Karimirad & Koushan, 2016). Last but not least, the system faces technical and operational challenges like; corrosion and ice resistance on floating hybrid system, wave sensitivity to bottom soil conditions in the case of fixed hybrid devices.

On the other hand, on the shared platform, a hybrid wave tends to include turbines of wind with the wave power in a common platform. The system facilitates the production of energy using both wind and wave (Alluhaibi et al., 2020). The converts of the waves are used in in controlling the speed of wind turbines in the offshore. The advantages of this kind of system include being environmentally friendly since it does not create harmful byproducts like gas and wastes; instead, the energy can be directly transferred to a machine producing electricity to generate power.

The other sources of power generation, like fossils, may negatively affect the environment by causing pollution. Secondly, it is abundant and widely available since it is nearer to consumption places like Harbors and cities where the power can be harnessed and used from the oceans (Alluhaibi et al., 2020). This saves time for generation since the source is at disposal for extraction. Another advantage is harnessing through various ways. Sea harnessed wave energy is also renewable as it never gets depleted since there will always be waves in the ocean, which is not the case with fossils that run out in places they have been discovered.

Wave energy is easily predictable making it possible for the use of specific method in calculating the amount it produces due to consistency. Therefore, it has proven to be better compared to other energy sources that rely on wind or sun. Also, it does not damage land; unlike fossils, it is safe and neat and recommended for energy extraction from the ocean and offshores (Alluhaibi et al., 2020). However, there are also disadvantages to the system, which include; the effect on the marine environment, in as much as the wave energy is considered clean, it still endangers the lives of some marine creatures (Mazzeo et al., 2021). This is due to placing large operating machines near and within water bodies to harness energy from the waves. The devices have the effect of causing seafloor disturbance making some creatures change habitats due to noise and toxic chemicals used on wave energy hence pollution.

The wavelengths depend on wind power; a consistent flow of strong waves is needed to collect a considerable wave power. The problem arises when some specific areas experience low waves making it unpredictable to forecast the legitimate final results hence rendered unreliable. Wave energy is associated with visual and noise pollution. The machines also appear to interfere with the ocean’s appearance due to their extensive nature when working in the sea. Also, the wave performance in generating energy is hindered during rough weather; hence bad weather is a factor undermining performance (Alluhaibi et al., 2020). The production cost of the energy is also a significant setback in the industry. The wave energy production requires considerable capital and set-up; again, the technology has an uncertain life span because the waves are unsteady. The strong are likely to interfere with the equipment beyond repair even though they are expensive.

Offshore Renewable Energy involves generating electricity from ocean-based resources, which comprises wind turbines on the offshore lakes and oceans and marine sources including; tides, waves, and thermal properties (Clark and Dupont, 2018). As a result of problems like pollution and sustainable development, there is a global quest to encourage offshore renewable energy compared to wind-only devices. 40% of the world’s total population staying around the coastal regions and oceans has come up with a remedy for dealing with climate change (Vivas et al., 2018). They provide renewable energy sources comprising ocean currents, waves, and wind; they argue these could meet present and future projected energy demand since it is about 13,5000 TWh of generated power in a year, more than the current electricity (Vivas et al., 2018). In the effort to harvest energy from the offshore, there are developing technologies that use wind and offshore waves as crucial components in the electricity mix. There are designed structures for offshore renewable energy like wind turbines and ground fixed support equipment that can be used in deep oceans in harvesting large amounts of energy.

Co-location of Wave Energy Converts (WEC) is a remedy for increasing the reliability of wind energy turbines. Wave power for co-located energy converts harnessed energy from the wave occurrence. This reduces wave strength and eventually improves the wind turbines’ accessibility (Pınarbaşı et al., 2029). In addition, more synergies between the wave and offshore wind are noticed through co-located WECs with more significant utilization of marine space (Pinarbasi et al., 2019). Reducing renewable energy and opportunities to lower costs by promoting sharing of offshore plants are expensive actions.

Hybrid devices may influence the making of floating ORE better than wind devices since they collect their energy from various sources. This makes it possible to optimize the generation of resources by putting together devices in a combined structure (Abd et al., 2020). The practice gives room for common gains where wave power may at times dampen the strength of the wave particularly on the structure of an offshore turbine.

It is worth noting that different options may be considered within co-located arrays, which include a peripherally Distributed Array (PDA) in which the wave energy converters are situated on the peripheries of the farm where a barricade is formed. Also, Uniformly Distributed Array (UDA) in which WECs are located unison. Lastly, the Non-uniformly Distributed Array (NDA) creates a barrier under configuration by wave energy converters (Pérez-Collazo et al., 2015). The rest passed between the winds turbines to prevent wave generation by diffracted energy. Thus, it culminates in a uniform reduction of wave height. Co-located wave and wind energy can be relevant for tackling the existing limitations of wind power in the offshore. If a co-located Wave Energy Converters is appropriately configured, it can reduce wave heights in a farm area, also known as the shielding effect.

Hybrid power plants can increase the value of the Offshore Renewable Energy System and minimize costs through sharing development projects. Researchers have established the use of economic and technical expertise for cost-saving improvements for wind-solar plants; however, this is inconclusive since more research is required to fathom specific cost determinants for wind-based plants (Pinarbasi et al., 2019). To compare the hybrid, wind, and co-allocated arrays, the baseline will focus on the cost only, not other factors like operational potential (Pinarnabasi et al., 2019). Therefore, it can be eluded that a hybrid power plant is technically cost-wise equivalent to wind-solar technology; thus, the findings hold that the non-hybrid and hybrid plants are the same in cost terms. Prior research on wind arrays has greatly focused on non-grid-connected hybrid arrays and evaluated the potential shifts in energy production profile without many elaborations on the cost of construction.

In conclusion, it is not sufficient to use an independent system to provide a source of energy because of seasonality depending on the area. Hybrid devices, therefore, adopted in generating power play significant roles in ensuring there is sufficient energy extracted. This is achieved easily by engaging in multi-source generation using technology. Also, through these hybrid devices, we have identified both the advantages and disadvantages associated. Some of the benefits include enhanced reliability in energy generation sources and the production of twice that is two times than a single source. Some of the disadvantages identified also have; the high initial cost to put up such a plant, and also the wind turbines may not be erected in some areas due to the low speed of wind experienced.

Reference List

Abd Ali, L.M., Al-Rufaee, F.M., Kuvshinov, V.V., Krit, B.L., Al-Antaki, A.M. and Morozova, N.V., 2020. Study of hybrid wind-solar systems for the Iraq energy complex. Applied Solar Energy, 56(4), pp.284-290.

Alluhaibi, O., Ahmed, Q.Z., Kampert, E., Higgins, M.D. and Wang, J., 2020. Revisiting the energy-efficient hybrid DA precoding and combining design for mm-wave systems. IEEE Transactions on Green Communications and Networking, 4(2), pp.340-354.

Clark, C.E., and DuPont, B., 2018. Reliability-based design optimization in offshore renewable energy systems. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 97, pp.390-400.

Karimirad, M., & Koushan, K. (2016, November). WindWEC: Combining wind and wave energy inspired by hywind and wavestar. In 2016 IEEE International Conference on Renewable Energy Research and Applications (ICRERA) (pp. 96-101). IEEE.

Lau, D., Song, N., Hall, C., Jiang, Y., Lim, S., Perez-Wurfl, I., Ouyang, Z., and Lennon, A., 2019. Hybrid solar energy harvesting and storage devices: The promises and challenges. Materials Today Energy, 13, pp.22-44.

Mazzeo, D., Matera, N., De Luca, P., Baglivo, C., Congedo, P.M. and Oliveti, G., 2021. A literature review and statistical analysis of photovoltaic-wind hybrid renewable system research by considering the most relevant 550 articles: An upgradable matrix literature database. Journal of Cleaner Production, 295, p.126070.

Pérez-Collazo, C., Greaves, D., & Iglesias, G. (2015). A review of combined wave and offshore wind energy. Renewable and sustainable energy reviews, 42, 141-153.

Pınarbaşı, K., Galparsoro, I., Depellegrin, D., Bald, J., Pérez-Morán, G. and Borja, Á, 2019. A modelling approach for offshore wind farm feasibility for ecosystem-based marine spatial planning. Science of The Total Environment, 667, pp.306-317.

Vivas, F.J., De las Heras, A., Segura, F. and Andújar, J.M., 2018. A review of energy management strategies for renewable hybrid energy systems with hydrogen backup. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 82, pp.126-155.

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