Evopod tidal unit awaits Portugal redeployment

The Marine Offshore Renewable Energy (MORE) team from the University of Algarve plans to redeploy the scaled Evopod tidal unit off Portugal in mid-September 2017.

The team from the University’s Centre for Marine and Environmental Research (CIMA) retrieved the 1:10 scale Evopod unit late in August for maintenance, after having been deployed at Ria Formosa, a coastal lagoon in the south of Portugal, for one month.

The deployment is part of the SCORE project whose goal is to examine the behavior of small-scale tidal current turbine in a shallow-water estuarine environment.

As reported earlier, the turbine hit the waters of Portugal early in June 2017, after which it was retrieved for battery replacement and electronics waterproof sealing.

As the delivery of the new load cells required additional time, the team redeployed the unit in mid-July to gather data on turbine performance and tension forces in the mooring lines, the CIMA-MORE team informed.

André Pacheco, one of the members of the MORE team, said: “We are waiting the arrival of four load cells for each of the mooring lines and to replace the battery, since the one existent failed to charge through the solar panels during the low flow on neap tides. We will now incorporate an extra solar panel and a battery with extra amperage capacity. The redeployment is scheduled for the middle of September.

“Meanwhile, we were able to collect performance data for an entire month as well as noise levels that will be now compared with the baseline study.”

Pacheco added that the marine biologist team is proceeding with the analyses of the seabed and the interaction of the turbine with the wildlife using collected ROV footage.

The SCORE project will consider both the impacts of the turbine on its environment and the effects of the flow conditions on the turbine. The insights from the project will be collected in a socio-economic report, which is expected to offer guidelines for tidal energy converter implementation projects on similar coastal lagoons and estuarine systems worldwide.

To remind, the scaled Evopod E1 unit was leased by the University of Algarve from the UK-based tidal energy developer Oceanflow Energy.

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