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Next Evolution in Materials and Models for Ocean energy

Project description

Making tidal energy more affordable

Harnessing power from flowing water is one of the oldest forms of energy generation. However, further technology advancements are needed to make this renewable energy source competitive with traditional energy sources relying on fossil fuels. The EU-funded NEMMO project aims to drive down costs by designing larger, lighter and more durable composite turbine blades. Researchers are working on ways to improve the hydrodynamic performance and active flow control of the turbine blade. They are also testing new composites and coatings that should increase resistance to fatigue, impact, cavitation erosion and biofouling. The ultimate aim is to reduce the levelised cost of energy for a 2-MW tidal turbine by 70 %, bringing it down to EUR 0.15/kWh.


NEMMO will design, model and test downscaled prototypes of larger, lighter and more durable composite blades for >2MW floating tidal turbines to reduce LCoE of tidal energy to €0.15/kWh meeting 2025 SET-Plan targets and making it competitive to competing fossil fuel sources. Novel blade designs with enhanced hydrodynamic performance due to the implementation of the different solutions, active flow control, materials and surfaces will be tested. Also, new nano-enhanced composites with properties that increase fatigue-, impact-, cavitation- and bio-fouling resistance of novel blade designs to prevent failures will be made. The project will then model, design and test the lifespan and resistance of the new composites for tidal turbine blades. This will involve: • accurate modelling of harsh hydrodynamic and environmental stresses for the development of testing and validation procedures • a new test rig for the evaluation of fatigue and cavitation on test probes and downscaled prototypes • a testing procedure including bio-fouling and marine environments evaluation in four different real scenarios • development of numerical models for the prediction of lifespan and mechanical properties as function of the materials properties, hydrodynamic loads, time and water composition • Novel tidal generator blades designs integrating active control flow, advanced surfaces and new nano-enhanced composites. The collective result of these innovations is 70% reduction in LCoE for tidal energy due to; (i) 50% CapEx reduction (lower material consumption and 25% lower cost of new composites), (ii) 2% lower FCR (increased understanding of failure and fatigue mechanisms and more durable composites with 66% higher lifespan), (iii) 40% reduction in O&M (reduced cavitation wear, bio-fouling and aging) and, (iv) 20% increase in AEP (enhanced hydrodynamic performance and higher inlet flow speeds for tidal turbine).

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 591 920,00
Parque cientifico y tecnologico de gipuzkoa, paseo mikeletegi 2
20009 Donostia-san sebastian (gipuzkoa)

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Noreste País Vasco Gipuzkoa
Activity type
Research Organisations
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (12)