A small-scale tidal current turbine demonstrator, developed by Spanish Seaplace and UK's Magnomatics, has been tested at the facilities of INTA in El Pardo. The turbine achieved one third mode efficiency during testing than previously predicted.
A 6kW turbine demonstrator, with rotational speeds of up to 120 ppm, was recently tested at the facilities of INTA in El Pardo, where it achieved better results than anticipated by the developers.
The project is looking to harness the power of sea currents as an alternative energy source by designing a turbine with pseudo direct drive (PDD) technology to deliver high torque, low speed power for the machine.
The design of the device being developed by the companies, a floating tension-tethered and self-steerable marine-current (FTMC) turbine, is said to allow the exploitation of marine currents in areas deeper than 60 meters or in areas with irregular seabed where fixed devices are too expensive to deploy.
The company Magnomatics, developing magnetic gear technology, was in charge of the PDD generator design, while the turbine itself was designed by the Spanish offshore engineering experts from Seaplace.
Using kinetic energy of ocean currents as a means of generating power is a relatively young technology compared with developments in other fields of alternative power generation. Currently, energy harnessed from currents meets just 0.02% of the EU’s energy requirements.
The 32-month long project kicked off on April 1st , 2016, under the Eurostars Program, aimed at market-oriented transnational projects. The full-scale turbine will measure around 26 meters in diameter, with a propeller diameter of approximately 18 meters, with five blades to each propeller, according to the designers.