This proposed collaborative project aims to demonstrate an innovative tidal energy converter at full scale in UK waters where there is an abundant resource and clear incentives for early commercial development; the selected site has potential for further commercial development. The main project objective is to test a certified, high performance, tidal flow technology ready for commercial deployment. The collaborative nature of this project has allowed a very strong team of partners to be assembled that has the necessary expertise to design, build, test and optimise the full scale demonstrator. The pre-production prototype to be demonstrated uses oscillating hydrofoils; this technology is currently being tested by Pulse Tidal in a scaled marine trial in the UK. Oscillating hydrofoils have been proposed previously for exploiting tidal currents. Pulse Tidal, the holder of the IPR, has an improved technical approach and a refined strategy, which exploits the benefits of oscillating foils over wind turbine style axial flow rotors. Modelling has shown that high efficiencies can be achieved from a hydrofoil oscillating at certain frequencies. Scaled model testing by Pulse Tidal has confirmed that a phased pair of hydrofoils sweeping the same cross section of flow improves power capture efficiency to a level comparable with axial flow systems. The hydrofoil approach allows power to be captured with a wide, shallow swept area. In a given depth oscillating foil systems can be up to four times more powerful than single axial flow rotors. In reality almost all sites are too shallow for multi-megawatt axial flow rotors. By offering much larger unit capacities Pulse will have a unique strategic and economic advantage over other technologies. Pulse Tidal’s clear commercial focus is therefore to develop early systems specifically for tidal flows too shallow for others to compete. This will be followed by the development of larger systems for deeper water.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeCP - Collaborative project (generic)
PE19 2ES St Neots