December 28 (SeeNews) - French tidal power developer EEL Energy has secured EUR 3.7 million (USD 3.9m) in funding to deploy its new generation 1-MW pilot machine for testing.
The money came from Bpifrance Financement under France's programme for R&D investments PIA (programme d’investissement d’avenir).
Last year, EEL Energy unveiled a tidal energy device, based on biomimicry of eels. It uses a membrane that optimises energy transfer through the combination of fluid flow with an undulating structure. The membrane undulates under moving fluid pressure and an electromechanical system then transforms the periodic motion into electricity. After initial tests the company has calculated that a current of only 2.5 metres per second would be enough to achieve optimal electricity generation of about 1 MW.
"This new technology will enable the exploitation of currents with lower velocity, extending the reach tidal technologies to new areas," said Thomas Sennelier, in charge of Cleantech at Bpifrance.
Jean-Baptiste Drevet, head of EEL Energy, noted that the fresh funds will improve their financial visibility as they are currently working on the concept and construction of a 1 MW tidal turbine. It should be tested in real-life conditions on a surface of 225 square metres off the shores of Scotland in 2017 and could possibly enter industrial production in 2018.
(EUR 1 = USD 1.044)