The Tidal Energy Converter Cost Reduction via Power Take Off Optimisation (TIDAL-EC) project proposes a set of research and development activities to substantially improve the economic competitiveness of a key developing sector of the renewable energy market: that of tidal stream power generation. Two of the largest and most critical components of any mainstream tidal energy converter (TEC) are the power take off (PTO) system (the shaft, bearings and other equipment which connects the turbine blades with the generator) and the electrical generator itself. Experts in the field of turbine and generator testing, the UK’s Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (ORE CATAPULT) together with SME partners Tocardo International (TOCARDO),Ocean Flow Energy (OCEANFLOW), Minesto (MINESTO) & FiberSensing (FIBERSENSING) and Research (RTD) performing partners the University of Edinburgh (UEDIN) and SINTEF (SINTEF), plan to conduct vital research and concept design activities to determine the optimum design of a TEC power take off system and permanent magnet generator (PMG). These radically optimised systems will improve reliability, increase power conversion efficiency and facilitate reduction in the cost of tidal power. In turn, the results of this project will also help SME tidal developers (and their SME suppliers) to be able to offer warranties and guarantees to end customers (European Energy Utilities) and enable large scale roll out of tidal energy in the EU; supporting diversification of the European energy mix and helping to achieve European 2020 renewable energy and carbon emission reduction targets.
The formation of the consortium has been carefully considered, in parallel with the resource commitments required to support the proposed programme of work. All consortium members have clearly defined roles and responsibilities within the work programme, and have determined that their return on investment is significant, appropriate and is in alignment with their strategic vision.
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