EEL Energy kicks off new real sea testing campaign

Illustration/EEL tidal membrane under trials in 2017 (Photo: Screenshot/Ifremer)

French tidal energy developer EEL Energy has started a new set of real sea trials on its undulating tidal membrane device at the Port of Brest in France.

The trials have begun this week at the same location where the first ever sea testing of the device took place at the end of 2017.

Illustration/EEL tidal membrane under trials in 2017 (Photo: Screenshot/Ifremer)

The new campaign is related to the electronics and control system of the 1:6 scale device, Franck Sylvain, the CEO of EEL Energy confirmed to French news portal Energies de la mer.

EEL Energy is using the same vessel as for the first set of towing trials – the TSM Penzer – supplied by local marine service provider Iroise Mer.

The company is developing the tidal turbine in partnership with Ifremer and Hutchinson. The project is financially supported by BPi France.

EEL tidal energy converter consists of a membrane that optimizes energy transfer by coupling fluid flow with an undulating structure. The membrane undulates under moving fluid pressure, and this periodic motion is transformed into electricity by an electromechanical system.

The energy is converted along the whole length of the rubber membrane surface.