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April 06, 2008

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Cyril R.

They should put tubercles on the leading edge of the blades.

Rip

There's nothing like putting "rubber on the road"! There's no dearth of clever ideas for alternative energy, but far too few ever see the operational prototype stage. It is herein the operational/mechanical bugs get worked out and the financial promises are documented or discounted with real data.

Chandranshu Pandya

This news is indeed very much welcome.I am sure in the years to come, this technology is bound to grow fast.A lot will depend on the condition of the equipment operating under the sea but being slow moving turbines, the operations and maintenance may not pose any problems.
Close monitoring and reporting will provide interesting results for all future developments.
I wish the enterprise the very best of luck for the Seagen programme.

Richard

I am surprised at the use of horizontal rotors. I understand the preference for horizontal axis in wind applications due to low energy density and need for fast operation. Water use would seem to favor low speed high torque devices like a vertical axis rotor. The fact that a "patented" mechanism is required to reverse the blades when the tide changes further argues for a vertical axis turbine which turns regardless of flow direction. Better solutions would appear to be like those at www.windside.com or at www.quietrevolution.co.uk. Either of those designs would be simpler and work particularly well in low speed high torque applications. But I trust better minds than I have studied the needs and have a good product. I wish them well.

Carl Hage

Richard: I am surprised at the use of horizontal rotors.

I believe the issue is the cost/swept-area. As with wind turbines, the energy that can be extracted is roughly proportional to the circular area of the rotor, or the square of the rotor diameter. The 20m diameter rotor would theoretically be able to capture 25x that of a 4 meter diameter turbine.

As with large wind turbines, doubling the size increases extractable power by a factor of 4. The issue then becomes, how large can they be made before reaching the strength limits of the materials and foundation, or perhaps depth of water.

Angus

What they should be looking at now is putting Wind turbines on top of the mounting pillars using the same grid connections. Wind turbines are already proven technology and could further increase profits while keeping the footprint on the environment about the same. About one Wind turbine for every half kilometre sounds about right. The increase in electricity generated may be small but as with all renewables, every bit is profit once maintenance and capital costs are calculated in and using the same grid connection and mounting column reduces these cost by a large amount.

Bob Wallace

Not sure, but I suspect that tidal mills will be located in places where the wind is not as steady as it is further off shore.

Sticking a large wind turbine on top of one of these tidal towers would mean that the entire rig would have to be upsized, both structure and transmission cable.

Richard

Carl, thank you for the explanation. Seems like the engineers who study it generally come back to horizontal designs as the best solution. I still feel an attraction to vertical axis devices. I probably should just get over it.

Richard

Angus - I do have a follow-up on your idea. The issues presented by Bob about rig structure might be resolved by using the design located here http://www.speakerfactory.net/wind.htm.
As you page down note that he has a floating mount for a water location. This could be attached to the underwater unit and the power grid connected very cheaply.

Will

A few years ago I asked MCT about siting wind turbines on top of their structures. They informed me that while they had a patent for such doubling up, most of the locations where there are good tidal streams are not locations where there are good steady winds. So, they said, it would rarely be economically viable to make use of that patent.

Max Reid

Wonderful achievement. This small company has been working to many years to achive this.

Meanwhile windmills have gone upto 6 MW range, but they are typically very large.

With just 16 meters, if this marine turbine gets 1.2 MW and that too working for 16-18 hours / day will make it very economical.

I hope they get more support and eventual commercialization.

Bob Wallace

"most of the locations where there are good tidal streams are not locations where there are good steady winds"

That's certainly my observation along the California coast from several years of sailing in and out of harbors.

When one most needs a good steady wind, fighting an oncoming tidal stream, one instead generally gets poor, confused winds caused by onshore hills and structures.

If you want good sailing, go out a few miles and turn right or left. That's where the good, steady wind lives.

David Matos

For river applications, and for poor areas, where pumping water is needed as well, cylinder/ piston may work better and probably with more efficiency.
I am an Angolan, southern Africa.
I have a design for a submersed water pump for river flows working only with the river flow.
We can fabricate simple machines in Angola, and cylinder/pistons assembly is easy.
Two cylinders, one with 1 meter diameter and the other 0.2 m/diameter. Pistons are in the same shaft. Area ratio is of 25 X. Pressure ratio of 25X.
The bigger cylinder has a diffuser of a diameter of 1.5 meter in both ends and is open on both sides.
When we submerse it in the river flow, the water flows in and pushes the piston. On the other end of the cylinder the water flows out in the direction of the river flow.
It is a shrouded cylinder with a diffuser and two half diffusers, like impellers to move the system around.
The piston pushes the second piston, in a closed cylinder (0,2m/d) and pressures water. The inlets and outlets of this double side cylinder have retention valves to control aspiration and discharged of the cylinder.
The cylinders rotate on its axis, enabling continuous cycles.
It is a water pump that uses only the river water flow.
Please I need to find the pressure on both cylinders, if the river flows at 1 m/s, and power calculations if the pressure water works on micro hydro turbine to produce electric energy. Any one can help?


Thank you
David Matos

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Yeah,The tidal stream which is installed is too long with 1.2MW. The post is really good. Surely i will share this news with my friends and surroundings. Good effort by the team. Congratulations for the whole team.

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We need another form of power before we damage this plant beyond the point of repair.
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they thought it would be the best place to test current turbines and others.

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The next project is for a 10.5MW tidal energy farm off the coast of the Welsh island of Anglesey in a fast flowing patch of 25 meter deep open sea known as The Skerries.

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The bigger cylinder has a diffuser of a diameter of 1.5 meter in both ends and is open on both sides.

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