The WINDHUNTER SYSTEM concept is an offshore, floating system that uses several wind turbines for power output to produce hydrogen by electrolyzing water. This continuously manned, safe and stable system will be easily maintained on-board while relocating to the best wind conditions for the wind turbines. The produced hydrogen gas may be compressed and stored as gas or liquefied and placed in insulated tanks. The compressed or liquefied hydrogen may be transferred by helicopter, surface ships or by other means.
ADVANTAGES OF THE WINDHUNTER SYSTEM
1. This is a simple, manned, movable system. No under-water piping or wiring is used to connect to the sea surface, sea bottom or shore.
2. A multiple of wind turbines can be mounted high above the water's surface on a vessel or platform to generate electricity that will be used to electrolyze water and produce hydrogen.
3. Because this system can be relocated easily for better wind energy, the production rate should be much greater than the usual 30% from a wind turbine whose location is fixed.
4. This Windhunter can be anchored or moored.
5. These tall systems can be out of sight and sound from the shore.
6. The ship will wind vane to face the wind and incoming waves and adjusted by the action of stern and bow thrusters.
7. No yaw motion is required for each individual wind turbine because the ship is always facing the wind and therefore the wind turbine nacelles will be simpler and lighter.
8. Several wind turbines are rigidly and perpendicularly connected to the surface of a large framework by the back end of the nacelle and angle braces.
9. When the framework is in the horizontal position, the vessel is more stable.
10. When the tall framework with the attached turbines is vertical, their height produces the largest power output possible.
11. Each turbine can be inspected and receive minor internal maintenance during operation while the frame is vertical with access through the rear of the nacelle from the hollow frame member that may contain a ladder or an elevator.
12. While at sea, any repair could be completed when the frame is lying on the deck. That includes removing the blades and nacelle and installing new parts.
13. This system uses commercially available components and therefore is the fastest method to generate large quantities of hydrogen with the least public opposition.
14. The hulls can be reworked, old, single-wall oil tankers. Thousands are available, since they are now illegal to be used for oil transport. Decommissioned military ships could be retrofitted for the multiple or single hull arrangements.
15. This system can be used anywhere in the world and can bring hydrogen power to energy poor areas.
16. In the future, clean burning hydrogen can replace the nuclear, oil, coal and natural gas for electrical power generation. It can also replace the gasoline and diesel now used for transportation.
17. The wind energy will be available forever and will always be available for harvesting.
18. The US Department of Energy report Feb. 2004 said that wind turbines and electrolyzing of water is the best way to produce hydrogen.
19. Each turbine will be able to change its rotor speed and blade pitch to deliver maximum power to its own electrolyzer.
20. Each turbine would power one electrolyzer and its hydrogen output would blend with others before going into the common liquefier or compressor for tank storage.
21. Damage to birds and bats would be negligible compared to those caused by land-based turbines. Windhunters can be moved away from bird flyways depending upon the season of the year.
22. Except for the initial construction material and startup fossil fuel on board, this system is pollution free and would do minimal environmental damage to the sea surface or bottom.
23. An environmental impact study may not be necessary.
24. A malfunctioning turbine could be shut down while the others continue to operate.
25. Liquid cooling of the equipment in the nacelles is possible because the nacelles are rigidly mounted to the hollow vertical columns that would contain the plumbing lines.
26. The hollow columns will contain the electrical output cables and control wiring.
27. The generated power can be 45 Megawatts or greater for a large system with nine of the worlds largest turbines and two of the largest oil tanker hulls.
28. When the framework is horizontal, a shore crane can quickly replace all the wind turbines resulting in a fast turnaround on shore.
29. The turbine rotors can turn faster than land based units because there would be no noise or vibration restrictions that are disagreeable to persons living nearby.
30. The Windhunter concept can be applied to all sizes of vessels or platforms.
31. The potential for storm damage will be less than for a fixed location wind turbine.
32. These vessels would be fossil fuel free by using the electricity from the turbines and the hydrogen energy to power all of the on-board systems.