Uppsala University deploys experimental tidal stream power turbine

Scientists from Uppsala University have installed a new tidal turbine in the Dalalven River that the institute said is the first of its kind.

The experimental unit consists of a vertical axis turbine and direct-drive generator that is connected to a cabin onshore filled with measurement instruments. The unit, developed by Professor of Electricity Mats Leijon and his doctoral students, is described as being similar to a wind turbine, but adapted to work in the slower speeds of flowing water.

“This is like a large laboratory for us,” said Mats Leijon, Uppsala University professor of electricity. “Now we can verify the technology.”

Development of the unit began in 2001, though this unit will be the first to undergo practical tests. If everything goes as hoped, Leijon said, the university will seek permission to install a second turbine in the same location.

“First we must verify the technology,” Leijon said. “We have done experiments with the different parts, but now we will test the whole system. That is always much harder. In the best of worlds the experiments will tally with reality and then we have taken engineering a step forward.”

More information about the project is available via a thesis, available here.

For more tidal stream power news, visit here.

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