Tidal turbine manufacturer Nautricity has secured a grid-connected test berth at Scotland’s European Marine Energy Centre, having successfully completed sea trials at EMEC’s non-connected Shapinsay Sound test site in 2014.
The units, called the “Contra Rotating Marine Turbine” — or “CoRMaT” — were first deployed at EMEC last May. Now, the Glasgow-based company said, it is ready to test the next generation of the CoRMaT unit in EMEC’s Fall of Warness site, with a number of goals in mind.
“The objectives for Nautricity’s forthcoming operations at EMEC are threefold,” CEO Cameron Johnstone said. “We want to undertake technical de-risking of a grid connected .5 MW CoRMaT tidal turbine within higher energetic tidal sites; evaluate the performance of Nautricity’s new foundation system designed for shallower water operations; and demonstrate the ability to quickly deploy our tidal technology in tidal sites with short operating windows using smaller scale vessels.”
The new installation will also allow Nautricity to test its units in what EMEC called some of the “harshest sea conditions on the planet”.
“Accessible real sea testing enables marine energy developers and suppliers to learn lessons earlier, more cheaply, and providing a stepping stone toward larger scale projects — as demonstrated by Nautricity’s progression,” EMEC managing director Neil Kermode said. “Previous testing in Orkney will stand Nautricity in good stead — not just in terms of technology readiness level, but with the whole wider supply chain.”
The units use two contra-rotating rotors to drive an electrical generator, effectively doubling the relative rotational speed compared with single-rotor turbines.
The CoRMaT units will be tethered to Nautricity’s “HydroBuoy” mooring system, which was developed using a US$421 million Smart Scotland grant from Scottish Enterprises. The buoy is shaped like an aircraft wing and allows the turbine units to steady in strong currents.
Nautricity was selected as a finalist for Newcomer of the Year at the 4th International Tidal Energy Summit in 2010.
More recently, the company announced it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Fundy Tidal Inc. to construct a 500 kW project in Nova Scotia’s Petit Passage.
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