Minesto Functionality of Dragon 12 megawatt-scale tidal energy kite verified

Minesto: Functionality of Dragon 12 megawatt-scale tidal energy kite verified

Minesto’s 1.2 MW Dragon 12 tidal powerplant has delivered as expected during its first phase of operation at its grid-connected monopile seabed foundation in Vestmannasund, Faroe Islands, the Swedish company reported.

Minesto’s Dragon Class tidal power plant (Courtesy of Minesto)

The 25-ton Dragon 12 tidal energy kite was commissioned in the early morning of February 9, delivering the first electricity to the national grid in the Faroe Islands.

Minesto announced today, February 22, that after the first two weeks of testing, the Dragon 12 functionality is verified and power production performance is satisfactory and as projected.

All core operating functions such as starting, turning with the tidal flow and electricity generation have been verified in its first phase of operation. Given the stable system behavior, Minesto concludes the technology risks of scale-up have been significantly reduced.

The Swedish company also noted that the system is responding as predicted, creating a solid base for the coming activities which will focus on dialing in various settings in the control system.

“We successfully summarize the first weeks of Dragon 12 testing. Given the positive system behavior and response, already at this phase of operation we can conclude that technology risks of scale-up have been significantly reduced,” said Martin Edlund, CEO of Minesto.

“Minesto is now in an exclusive group of tidal technology developers at megawatt scale, and most importantly the sole provider of full-scale powerplants utilizing the truly unique and competitive energy conversion principle of kite-flying.” 

According to Minesto, the Dragon 12 has been generating and flying in its 8-shaped trajectory with an outer dimension of 70 meters at an average flight depth of 50 meters all as stipulated by the control system.

The company remotely monitors and controls the powerplant which is interfaced with the grid management system at SEV’s main control room in Torshavn.

“It is a moment of truth to take part in the first flight, and consequently electricity production, of any new Minesto kite. The kite dives and then shoots itself onto the trajectory driven by the lifting force from the tidal current – while synchronizing the induction generator with the grid,” said Bernt Erik Westre, CTO of Minesto.

“There are quite a few parameters that must be set correctly for this to work properly. Although I expected our excellent team of engineers to deliver – it was very satisfying seeing the status in the SCADA-interface shifting to ‘Production’ and thereby moving Minesto into the mega-watt league.”

Minesto also recently reported it was upgrading its roadmap to a 200 MW tidal energy buildout in the Faroe Islands as a response to the growing demand for renewable energy.

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