RTsys senses Sabella’s tidal turbine environment

French specialist for underwater acoustic technology RTsys will supply its sensor system for Sabella’s D10 tidal turbine.

Having been tested over the course of a year, between 2015 and 2016, Sabella’s D10 tidal turbine will be submerged once again in spring 2017 for further testing in the Fromveur Passage, off the coast of Brittany.

The 1MW D10 tidal turbine will be equipped with RTsys sensor system that will measure the currents and waves, and will also feature underwater video cameras and hydrophones.

RTsys has already provided the sensor system for the previous Sabella’s testing campaigns, however, the first system had been installed in an inox case, placed outside the turbine, whereas the system to be deployed this year is composed of two waterproof cylinders installed inside the head of the turbine.

The system is monitoring the total of 8 sensors, and includes new features such as redundancy in power sources, and data links.

The data can be recovered without stopping the system for post-processing, while the security features keep the system running in case of failure of one of the sensors, which is then isolated from the rest of the system, according to Corentin Troussard, Engineer and Project Manager for RTsys.

The objective of the RTsys system is to better understand the parameters of the underwater environment to help optimize tidal turbine operation by assessing its interaction with the environment, as well as to identify its impacts.

The hydrophones record different sounds like those produced by the activity of the underwater fauna, but also the sounds made by the tidal turbine, in order to better understand and manage it.

The sensors are placed on and around the tidal turbine and the data is sent by a cable to the data acquisition station on the mainland, which enables tidal turbine’s environment and production to be monitored continuously in real time, RTsys informed.