MeyGen Phase 1A project sets new world record as tidal energy research continues worldwide

In August, the 6-MW MeyGen Phase 1A project had a total production approaching 2 GWh, according to Atlantis Resources Ltd. (Atlantis). For monthly production from a tidal stream power station of over 700 MWh, Atlantis said this set a new world record.

Located on the Inner Sound of Pentland Firth, Scotland, MeyGen Phase 1A is the first build-out phase of the MeyGen Tidal Energy Project.  Atlantis’ marine energy project has four 1.5-MW turbines; one Atlantis and three Andritz Hydro Hammerfest turbines. Edinburgh-based MeyGen Ltd. holds all of the assets of the project and is the entity that has entered into all contracts with suppliers in relation to the project.

According to Atlantis, it expects the MeyGen Phase 1A will be operating at full 6 MW capacity from the end of fiscal year third quarter, from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2017.

Marine energy turbine testing in other parts of the world has yielded promising results

Japan

On Aug. 19, NHK World TV reported IHI Corp. and the government of Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) successfully tested the 100 kW Kairyu tidal stream prototype. The testing took place off Kuchinoshima Island in waters off the southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima, Japan.

In June 2015, HydroWorld.com reported NEDO selected IHI Corp. and Toshiba Corp. to research and develop an underwater floating-type ocean current tidal energy turbine system as part of a US$501 million effort for sustainable, renewable energy.

The research included tow-testing at the site of the powerful north-flowing Kuroshio Current, which travels at rates ranging between 20- and 120-inches per second in which the device produced 30 kW.

The Kairyu features two 50 kW 11-m-diameter rotors that have a flow rate of 3 knots and a 20-m-long by 20-m-wide and 11-m-high generator, which features an onboard transformer.

India

The Ministry of Earth Sciences of the government of India is funding a study called, “Design and Testing of an Impulse Turbine for Wave Energy Conversion,” being carried out by researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras.

The Times of India reported the second week of August, testing began on an oscillating water column (OWC) type of wave energy device at the Wave Energy and Fluids Engineering Laboratory (WEFEL). The facility is located at the Department of Ocean Engineering at ITT-Madras.

According to information from Abdus Samad, IIT-Madras associate professor and led researcher, his group is to develop the OWC impulse turbine to operate with a unidirectional rotor that converts wave energy to generate power.

According to Samad, the major challenges faced in wave energy conversion (WEC) are natural environment, device constraints, mismatch in wave and resonant frequencies and wave conditions. An optimal control scheme is necessary to improve the efficiency, performance and power absorption of a WEC device.

Once lab testing is complete and the data is analyzed, a wave energy turbine constructed by India’s National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) will be fitted on a floating backward bend ducted-buoy with an L-shaped OWC for testing in real-water ocean environments. Purnima Jalihal, of NIOT, is acting as project co-investigator, according to Samad.

According to the researchers, wave energy potential could supply about 40 GW to the Indian power grid, which is about 13% of the total production capacity in India. 

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Gregory B. Poindexter formerly was an associate editor for HydroWorld.com.

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