Tidal Flow Projects

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Post  MH on Tue 16 Dec 2008 - 5:08

I've discovered an interesting website called NewEnergyFocus, which seems to have a lot of news about renewable energy projects.

Tidal Flow Projects NEF_logo

On it I found a new article about one project called DeltaStream, by a Cardiff-based company called Tidal Energy Limited.

Tidal energy firm seeks to develop Welsh test site

This is for a trial of a 1MW assembly of three turbines in Ramsey Sound, just of St Davids Head. Probably the best thing is to embed the video presentation from Tidal Energy Limited:

In the parallel story here we can read that 2012 is the date for deployment of the final production version. The idea is to get this prototype in the water by 2010 and test it for a year. The original design concept was trialled in 2002, funded by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

It is not the only tidal flow turbine. The most developed to date is the SeaGen project at Strangford Lough, Ireland.

As you can see from the pictures, it is a very different type of animal. One that is very much more location specific, more obtrusive, and an obstactle to shipping.

Tidal Flow Projects Seagenraisedfor_500336 Tidal Flow Projects Seagenfeelsthef_955599

But on the other hand, it might prove to be much more effective. That's why the prototypes need to be tested. Marine Current Turbines reckon that to be commercially effective, each rotor needs to have a minimum swept area of 300m2, which is why the Strangford Lough turbines are so big.

But I'd guess that the sheer simplicity and flexibility of the DeltaStream array might well work in its favour. Also, their turbines look remarkably similar to those currently being tested in New York's East River.

Tidal Flow Projects Roosevelt-island-tidal-turbine-080922

Strangford Lough has already produced some electricity [July 2008] and is currently being commissioned for full service.

SeaGen enters final stage of commissioning, 17 Nov 2008

MCT have indicated that their next project would be for a 10.5MW farm off the coast of Anglesey.

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Post  Draig32 on Sat 20 Dec 2008 - 1:36

There seems to be a bit of a "tidal race" going on off the coast of Pembrokeshire! Another company, called WaveDragon have put in application with BERR for a prototype "wave converter". They're aiming for approval by mid 2009.

Tidal Flow Projects Wd-nis_007_600


This project basically works by "harvesting" wave energy and channelling waves into the central portion where they overtop and power 7 generators. Each Unit has an installed capacity of up to 7MW - enough power for 7-10,000 homes.

I have to say I'm far more in favour of smaller tidal power generation units of this nature than mega-projects like the proposed Severn barrage, which I think are just designed to serve the centralised imperatives of the big utilities. These projects are better suited to fit into smaller "Smart" grids where the electricity is used locally.


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