MAKO tidal turbine tackles Tasmanian tides

A tidal energy turbine has been installed in the Tamar estuary in Tasmania as part of a joint project between the Australian Maritime College (AMC) and tidal energy developer MAKO Tidal Turbines.

The turbine has been deployed in the Tamar estuary in Launceston, where the researchers at the AMC will conduct field experiments with a 2.4 metre-wide prototype to investigate and optimize the device’s performance.

The turbine is secured beneath a floating platform and connected to a mooring on the east side of the estuary.

Having undertaken tow tank testing with AMC, MAKO Turbines will be conducting research into how full-scale turbines operate in a real-world environment, according to AMC.

The testing will include the influence of turbulence and biofouling which may impede performance and affect the longevity of the device.

Irene Penesis, AMC Project Lead, said: “We want to monitor the effects of this particular project, but also understand the processes so we can apply the findings to other potential tidal energy sites. Tidal power has the capacity to generate electricity that could become part of the energy mix for local industries, small communities, coasts and islands.”

Douglas Hunt, MAKO Turbine’s Managing Director, added: “We are delighted with the results achieved by working collaboratively with AMC from tank testing though to full-scale deployment. The Tamar estuary is an ideal location to demonstrate the MAKO turbine and its ability to deliver predictable renewable energy.”