Classification system of tidal energy converters
A variety of designs have been developed in order to harness the kinetic energy available in tidal streams.
A report issued by EU’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) offers a classification of tidal energy converters (TECs).
According to the 2014 JRC Ocean Energy Status Report, horizontal-axis turbines represent the most common type of tidal device with accounting for 76 percent of research and development efforts in the development of tidal devices worldwide.
Horizontal-axis turbines also represent tidal converters with highest technology readiness levels (TRLs).
In the UK alone more than 11000 MW/h of electricity generated by ocean energy were fed to the grid since 2008, with 10500 MW/h of them being generated by horizontal-axis tidal devices.
The evolution of tidal devices shows that first-generation tidal devices were designed for bottom-mounted installations.
The second-generation devices – floating TECs are designed to exploit the most powerful resources in the mid/high water column.
The third-generation devices are looking to exploit additional tidal resources within the water column.
Take a look at the JRC’s classification table of tidal energy converters.