Jul 31, 2013 - French heavy engineering group Alstom (EPA:ALO) today said that its 1-MW full-scale tidal turbine which is being tested in Orkney, Scotland had reached full nominal capacity.
The device was installed in January 2013 at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney. It underwent tests in different operational conditions within the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI)-commissioned and co-funded Reliable Data Acquisition Platform for Tidal (ReDAPT) consortium project. Alstom said that the tidal turbine’s reliability and performance corresponded to its design models.
Now, the French group will need to demonstrate the full range of autonomous running capabilities of the turbine and collect evidence for the device’s certification. In 2014 the company will continue endurance and reliability tests and after that proceed with tests in pilot tidal arrays before commencing full commercial production of the unit.
The tidal turbine, which weighs 150 tonnes, has three pitchable blades. Capable of floating, the device works fully submerged some 40 m (131 ft) underwater. The nacelle can rotate around vertical axis so as to face the tide at an optimal angle and achieve maximum power generation, Alstom explained.