Classification system of tidal energy converters

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.

Distribution efforts in tidal technology types
Distribution of R&D efforts in tidal technology types

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.

JRC Tidal Energy Converters Classification


Source/Images: JRC/EMEC