EC grants €4.4M for tidal turbines subsystem project

European Commission (EC) has awarded €4.4 million to Nova Innovation-led project set to demonstrate and validate a new direct drive power-take off solution for tidal turbines.

The project titled ‘Tidal Turbine Power Take-off Accelerator’ or TiPA will run for 36 months with the aim to develop the technology that would reduce the lifetime cost of tidal power by 20% and provide long term system reliability.

Under the TiPA project, a power take-off (PTO) subsystem will be built and put to accelerated onshore testing in Germany, before in-sea testing in Scotland with third party validation of the design and the test results, according to Nova Innovation.

In addition to Nova Innovation, the tidal energy consortium participating in the project includes Siemens, SKF, the University of Edinburgh, RWTH Aachen University, Delft Technical University, and Wood Group Kenny’s SgurrEnergy.

Simon Forrest, Managing Director of Nova Innovation, said: “We are delighted to collaborate with our European partner organizations to deliver TiPA to develop and demonstrate our innovative direct drive PTO for tidal turbines. This will be a major step forwards for the global sector and significantly drive down the lifetime cost of tidal energy.”

Nova Innovation will provide tidal turbine direct drive generator, while Siemens will take care of the power electronics, with SKF providing the bearings and seals.

The knowledge and modelling will be done by the University of Edinburgh, and Delft Technical University, while RWTH Aachen university will contribute by providing the facility for drive train testing.

SgurrEnergy is tasked with assessing and verifying the PTO technology which is used to transform the mechanical power in the tidal turbine rotor into electricity that is exported into the grid.

Upon completion of the project, a commercialization strategy will be developed, for selling and licensing the PTO to tidal energy technology developers and to explore potential uses outside the tidal sector.

The project is funded through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Program for research and innovation.