A European tidal energy consortium has secured funding for the research and development of a potentially cost-cutting technology for tidal turbines.
Led by Nova Innovation in Scotland, the group of seven bodies has the financial backing of the European Commission.
The money will be used to develop a direct drive power take-off (PTO) solution for tidal turbines.
According to Nova Innovation, when commercialised the technology will reduce the lifetime cost of tidal power by 20% and provide long term system reliability.
The consortium is to receive grant funding of €4.4M under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for research and innovation.
The project titled TiPA (Tidal turbine Power take-off Accelerator) will run for 36 months.
It will build the PTO subsystem and conduct accelerated onshore testing in Germany followed by in-sea testing in Scotland with third party validation of the design and the test results. The PTO subsystem is the component that transforms the mechanical power in the tidal turbine rotor into electricity that is exported into the grid. www.tipa-h2020.eu
The project consortium brings together complementary world leading expertise: Nova Innovation Ltd (tidal turbine direct drive generator); Siemens plc (power electronics); SKF (bearing and seals); the University of Edinburgh (knowledge and modelling); Chair for Wind Power Drives – RWTH Aachen University (facility for drive train testing); Delft Technical University (knowledge and modelling); and Wood Group Kenny SAS │ SgurrEnergy (assessing and verifying the technology).
Once complete a commercialisation strategy will be developed, for selling and licensing the PTO to tidal energy technology developers and to explore potential uses outside the tidal sector.
Simon Forrest, managing director of Nova Innovation, said: “We are delighted to collaborate with our European partner organisations to deliver TiPA to develop and demonstrate our innovative direct drive PTO for tidal turbines.
“This will be a major step forwards for the global sector and significantly drive down the lifetime cost of tidal energy.
” We are extremely appreciative to the European Commission for their belief in our technology and sector, and are really looking forward to taking the PTO onwards to a commercial reality for the industry.”