Sabella troubleshoots D10 ahead of three-year deployment

French tidal energy developer Sabella is making progress on the optimization of its D10 tidal turbine ahead of the upcoming three-year deployment in the Fromveur Passage, off the French island of Ushant.

After a successful demonstration in 2015 – 2016 in the Fromveur Passage, Sabella has been working on the optimization of its D10 tidal energy turbine for over a year now.

The D10 tidal turbine has a rotor diameter of 10 meters and a height of 17 meters, weighting around 400 tons. Its rated capacity is up to 1MW.

The company said it has been streamlining the device to strengthen and provide redundancy to the inboard equipment.

The work includes partial disassembly of the turbine to separate the bulbs from the rotor as the manhole does not allow the insertion of new electrical components, Sabella said.

The disassembly process will free the nacelle for transport to a specialized workshop for opening.

Once the integration works are over, the nacelle will be reassembled and the turbine will be positioned back on the support structure.

D10 tidal turbine (Photo: Sabella)

The optimization works are planned to continue over the next three to four months, after which Sabella plans to conduct a series of tests on the turbine.

The tests have been designed to ensure perfect functioning of the turbine and guarantee a good piloting of the device before redeployment at sea for a three-year operation period, according to Sabella.

“The company would like to highlight that despite the long delays entailed by the additional works, they are absolutely necessary in the learning and maturation process of such cutting-edge energy solutions.

“Today, Sabella counts among the four or five players involved in tidal stream technology development on the international stage and wishes to avoid any rashness that may lead to repetitive failures due to technologically immature solutions, which may undermine the credibility of the tidal energy industry in the eyes of the authorities, ordering parties and investors of tomorrow,” Sabella said.

Sabella plans to reinstall the 1MW D10 tidal turbine later this year, or in 2018. The company has recently replaced the offshore dry-mate connector of the export cable in the Fromveur Passage to support the upcoming D10 deployment period.