ORPC Ireland launches TAOIDE project

Illustration/ORPC’s TidGen turbine generator (Photo: ORPC)
Illustration/ORPC’s TidGen turbine generator (Photo: ORPC)

Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) Ireland has kick-started the Horizon 2020-backed hydrokinetic technology development project.

The Technology Advancement of Ocean Energy Devices through Innovative Development of Electrical Systems to Increase Performance and Reliability (TAOIDE) project’s overarching goal is to improve system reliability by developing a direct drive permanent magnet generator capable of operating in a fully flooded condition.

Back in June, the €3.2 million project received financial backing from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program.

University College Cork (UCC) is project coordinator and along with ORPC Ireland, is joined in a consortium with Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and SKF UK.

The centerpiece of TAOIDE will be ORPC Ireland’s lab testing to validate system improvements to a full-scale ORPC hydrokinetic turbine and associated economics at UCC’s Lir National Ocean Test Facility which houses wave tanks and electrical rigs that allow for scaled testing in a controlled environment, ORPC said.

Chris Sauer, ORPC President and CEO, said: “Proving the functionality of a wet-gap generator will be a major development for the ocean energy industry, and will make our marine renewable energy systems more competitive with other renewable energy options.”

The Sustainable Energy Applied Research Centre at Letterkenny Institute of Technology is responsible for developing maintenance plans and applying systems and preventative maintenance strategies to lower the levelized cost of energy production in the marine environment.

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s Institute for Wind Energy & Energy System Technology is developing advanced control algorithms for load reduction and power quality improvement and is contributing its expertise in condition monitoring, while SKF is designing the generator bearings and rotary seals capable of operating in a fully flooded environment.