25 Apr 2024

Dynatect Supports Innovation in Sustainable Energy Solutions


We are thrilled to spotlight Dynatect’s role in driving achievement and innovation in sustainable energy solutions. As proud sponsors, we provided a crucial component—a Polyclutch slip clutch – for a small-scale wave energy converter (WEC) developed by a university engineering team.

University of Waterloo Team miniWEC designed and fabricated a miniaturized wave energy converter (WEC) to provide renewable electrical energy for portable marine devices, such as research buoys equipped with sensors for data collection. This miniaturized WEC would enable long-term deployment of these devices in areas with turbulent waves and rough weather conditions with minimal sunlight.

Harnessing the power of the ocean, this design project not only secured victory but also garnered multiple nominations and awards, showcasing the immense potential of renewable energy technologies. We extend our congratulations to these brilliant engineering students!

From Left: Muhammad Abdullah, Nathan Shen, Ronald Trang, Alexander Rejep, and Caitlin Ho

Why was the slip clutch needed?
When ocean waves strike the WEC, the buoy chassis tilts, causing a mass within the chassis to rotate. The mass is coupled to a generator which then produces electricity. Dynatect’s Polyclutch is used to limit the torque transmitted to the generator, which prevents the internal gearbox from breaking. Though alternate torque limiting devices were considered, Polyclutch was the most compact solution that did not decouple torque transmission when slipping. Other solutions were either too large for the buoy size, too precise to fabricate, or required decoupling the torque transmission when slipping.

CAD for context

Loading Conditions and Torque Limiting Requirements
Because the mass rotates at low speeds and the generator requires high speeds to create power, a gearbox is used for speed transmission. The gear teeth are very small however, making them susceptible to breaking during high impact loading. As the eccentric mass allows for bi-directional variable speed loading, impact loading poses a significant risk.

Slip Clutches: How They Work [with video]

Dynatect is increasingly the supplier of choice for Wave Energy Converters (WEM) and Tidal Power Plants that utilize Dynatect’s:

  • slip clutches (flywheel / generator)
  • bellows as wave generation covers
  • cable carriers for managing transmission conductors