WITT Limited has secured a £350,000 contract with the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) to develop energy harvesting technology for the subsea environment.
The funds will be used to develop the WITT (Whatever Input to Torsion Transfer) energy capture and storage device specifically for subsea defence applications.
According to the company, a WITT captures energy from all planes of movement and turns it into electricity that can be stored until needed. Contained within a sealed unit, a WITT uses two pendulums connected to a flywheel to generate electricity. Movement causes the pendulums to swing, and they are attached to a shaft that then turns a flywheel in one direction. The flywheel is connected to a generator, which produces electricity. The unit harvests chaotic motion, turning it into usable power. Where most energy harvesting devices are taking up-and-down or side-to-side motion, the WITT captures energy from all six degrees of chaotic motion.
In the subsea environment the Gloucestershire-based company said a WITT converts the vortex induced vibrations (VIV) created by ocean currents into usable electrical power and can do this with a waterflow of 0.5mtr/sec. The amount of power produced by a WITT is dependent upon the size of the device and this can be scaled to the needs of the application.
In a statement, Mairi Wickett, business development director and co-founder of WITT Limited, said: “Securing the funding from DASA has been a huge boost; it will facilitate additional development of the technology and enable us to investigate new applications for the system subsea – such as providing power for sensors, data gathering and mammal and temperature studies. It also further reinforces the WITT’s credibility in the sector and puts us in a strong position for our next round of fundraising.”
Since 2016 the energy harvester has been granted patents worldwide including UK, USA, China and Europe and has patents pending in Korea, Brazil, Canada, India and Russia.