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A range of economically viable, innovative and proven HydroKinetic turbines that will enable users to exploit the huge potential of clean, predictable energy in the world’s rivers, canals and estuarie

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - DP Renewables (A range of economically viable, innovative and proven HydroKinetic turbines that will enable users to exploit the huge potential of clean, predictable energy in the world’s rivers, canals and estuarie)

Reporting period: 2018-08-01 to 2020-03-31

The DP Renewables project set out to develop, demonstrate and commercialise a range of economically viable, innovative and proven HydroKinetic turbines that will enable users to exploit the huge potential of clean, predictable energy in the world’s rivers, canals and estuaries. DP Renewables carried out the design, fabrication and testing of 2 novel hydrokinetic turbines, as well as definition of a detailed business plan for commercial launch and private investment.

The project received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 766499 and began 1st July 2017 lasting a total of 33 months, ending 31st March 2020. The entire project was managed and implemented by sole beneficiary and project coordinator DesignPro Ltd, an Irish company based County Limerick.

The project had 2 key outputs: namely the design, build and deployment of a 25Kw unit and also a 60Kw unit, both of which were achieved and demonstrated to TRL 8 during the project. The 25Kw unit was successfully installed at a dedicated, special-purpose test site called SEENEOH on the River Garonne in Bordeaux, France. The 60Kw unit was deployed and tow-tested just outside Kirkwall harbour in the Orkney Islands, Scotland.

These 2 full-scale deployments were huge milestones for the project and the company’s pathway to commercialisation of the solutions. Thanks to very proactive branding, promotion and communication efforts, DP Renewables received much interest and promotion from local communities, sales leads, potential partners, investors and press and media. The company is now well on its way to commercialisation with a number of commercial projects in the pipeline and a clear business and investment plan outlined for final funding and resources needed to get across the final step from TRL 8 to TRL 9.

The successful demonstrations of two highly innovative hydrokinetic turbines created awareness among a broad range of audiences of the potential these solutions can add to the renewable energy mix. DP Renewables has validated that these systems can enable the world to generate clean, predictable energy from our flowing water resources, most of which remain largely untapped. This clean energy technology can increasingly support displacement of diesel or natural gas fuelled power generation to de-carbonise the energy mix. It provides a hydro-based technology that does not require invasive damming of water flows, improving power generation sustainability in accordance with EU and international sustainability objectives.

Thanks to the results of this project, DP Renewables has shown that hydrokinetic energy can be a valuable contributor to the EU’s 2050 vision of a zero-carbon economy.
Thanks to the support of the H2020 programme and the SME Instrument team, in under 3 years the DP Renewables project has:

• Developed 2 full-scale products to TRL 8 with a clear path and very defined targets for what we need to do in order to reach TRL 9 as quickly and effectively as possible.

• A strong, committed team in place with all core competencies covered.

• A detailed and thorough business plan that includes our revised commercialisation strategy, revised product offerings and defines the resources and funding required to reach commercialisation.

• An established brand with sales and marketing departments, tools and processes in place and a number of promising commercial opportunities in the pipeline.

• A thorough understanding of where we need to go next and are actively applying to suitable funds for securing funding to get us through the final development stages.

Most importantly we have gained invaluable experience and learned crucial lessons regarding the market, the investment community and a now have a more realistic viewpoint of achieving commercialisation. Since starting out in 2014 we have taken a scaled and controlled approach to developing the technology as we learned from the failures of competitors who went too big too fast as they were put under unrealistic pressure by investors whom they had no choice but to work with as funding was only available for very early stage development. Private funds want to see fully functioning megawatt devices that could compete on the utility market, something that the industry as a whole still has a long way to go in terms of providing a range of solutions.

We have experienced this feedback from large multinational partners and investors and now, being so close to the end, are determined to prove that hydrokinetic solutions, as deep tech, deserve the funding and the fair time needed to achieve success and progress the industry as a whole, opening up new doors and opportunities.

Following 6 years of dedication to seeing the technology reach commercialisation, we are more determined than ever to see our solution out in the market, making a positive societal impact and contributing to the fight against climate change. Commercialisation of our hydrokinetic turbine technology will enable grid-poor communities currently reliant on diesel generators to tap into clean, predictable energy where it is needed most. In order to achieve our ambitious target of a zero-carbon economy in Europe by 2050 every viable source of clean energy must be mobilised.
DP Renewables set out to develop a viable device that offered some key features and benefits that would put us beyond the state of the art currently available on the market. These features along with explanations of how each was demonstrated and validated during the project are detailed as follows:

• Compact size and simple design for easy transport and installation in small deployment sites with low flows, thus giving a lot of sites a feasible device option for the first time.

In the project both devices demonstrated how they could be transported in standard containers and transported via road then fully assembled at a quay or pier close to the deployment site.

• Maximised power output and performance, compared with industry averages of 32%.

Devices achieved impressive power outputs of 90%, well above and beyond any other existing state-of-the-art solutions and the necessary optimisations needed to increase this further are fully understood with the need for further resources to implement these.

• Average rotations of 40 per minute (RPMs) increasing the safety of the device in relation to its impact on the environment and how it interacts with fish and mammals – to be compared to many competing devices with minimum RPM of 180.

This performed better than expected with average rpm of 25-35, putting us ahead of competitors in terms of not having to compromise on safety for better power output.

The design and modelling work undertaken resulted in modifications to vessel body and frame mountings designed to accelerate water flows into the turbines, improving energy capture which resulted in improved efficiencies and ease of operation relative to other hydrokinetic turbine designs. The system utilises a simplified power take-off design incorporating off-the-shelf electricity generation components, coupled with a novel MPPT control system that converts the kinetic power of the water flow into a stable, useful form of electricity. Other performance improvements related to power delivery to end user cannot be shared publicly at this time due to commercial sensitivity.
Connection to Mooring
DPR 25 Being Assembled
Visual representation of Unit Concept
60kW under going testing in the Orkney Islands
Deployment to River
Aerial overhead view of 60kW unit deployed in Scotland
Deployment Vessel 1
Connection to Mooring 2
60kW final assembly stage.