Russians launch experimental tidal generator

Russian utility officials were on hand November 18 for the launching of a 1.5-MW experimental tidal power generator at Severodvinsk in Russia’s Arkhangelsk Region.

The experimental orthogonal hydraulic unit has a 5-meter-diameter turbine wheel and synchronous generator. It is installed in a floating unit 33 meters long, 10 meters wide, and 15.33 meters tall, that is to be towed to the Barents Sea shore and installed near the Kislogubskaya Tidal Power Plant.

Kislogubskaya is a test site used by hydro operator OAO HydroWGC to develop new tidal technologies. The orthogonal turbine and floating unit are to be tested prior to serial production.

The tidal unit was produced to order for OAO HydroWGC by Russian researchers and engineers.

Russian utility holding company Unified Energy Systems, which took part in the launching, said the peculiarity of the orthogonal turbine is that the direction of its rotation does not change in the rise and fall of the tide. The unique design makes it possible to significantly increase the efficiency of the tidal power plant to 60 to 70 percent and to reduce the construction cost by 30 to 40 percent.

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