German marine propulsion manufacturer Schottel has announced successful tests of a full-scale hydrokinetic turbine in Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough.
The tests include 260 hours of operation in real-world conditions and showed that a single turbine with a rotor diameter of four meters can generate 50 kW per second at a rated water velocity of 2.75 meters per second. The company said 10 hours of operation provides enough electricity to power an average household for a month.
Schottel attached the turbine to a moored barge, mounting it on a lifting frame at the stern and lowering it into the operating position for testing.
“The turbine shaft rotations, torque and power output were recorded for use in the performance assessment,” the company said in a statement. “Load cells measured the resulting thrust force, while detailed measurements of flow conditions were also taken.”
Testing methods were developed in accordance to standards established by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and represent the first scientifically monitored evaluation of a Schotttel turbine. The Strangford Lough tests were reviewed by the Marine Research Group at Queens University of Belfast, supported by the European MARINET program.
“We greatly enjoyed these fruitful co-operations,” Schottel research engineer Dr. Ralf Starzmann said. “We already tested our turbine under lab conditions and with another sea test, but this time the testing conditions were certainly perfect and most realistic.”
The company said the turbines can be equipped with rotor diameters between three and five meters, with applications in rivers, sea straits, and tidal races on jetty, floating or submerged platforms.
“Our turbines are based on the fact that reducing turbine size leads to a better ratio of powert and material use,” Starzmann said. “They produce grid-ready electric power and are individually adaptable.”
The company announced in July that its subsidiary, Black Rock Tidal Power Inc., had plans to install a 2.5 MW ocean power demonstration berth in Canada’s Bay of Fundy.
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