SME unveils PLAT-I ‘game changer’ for inshore tidal

Sustainable Marine Energy (SME) has presented the design of its new floating tidal energy platform, the PLAT-I, which will shortly be making its way out to the Philippines for real-sea deployment.

The PLAT-I floating tidal energy platform is designed for more sheltered and slightly more benign sites in terms of wave climate – corresponding to the I in the platform’s name which stands for Inshore.

Such sites are in abundance in Southeast Asia – the target market for the platform application, according to SME.

The trimaran design for the platform, which hosts four Schottel Hydro’s SIT 250 turbines, was used to provide low resistance and enhanced stability.

The 280kW rated PLAT-I platform is 32 meters long, with a beam of 27 meters. SME said the platform’s modular design can be broken down for shipping and assembled close to site, adding that the shallow draft configuration also permits launch and tow out with limited port infrastructure.

The platform is integrated with mooring turret which enables alignment with flow in any direction, while turbines have been configured for maximum power extraction in shallow water channels, according to SME.

SME also added that swing up turbine deployment modules allow maintenance access at the surface.

The platform is set for deployment in the Philippines, but first, it will be trialed in Connel Sound in Scotland later this year, where it was manufactured with the support from the Scottish government, various agencies, and local communities.

Jason Hayman, Managing Director of SME, said: “The future is very promising for tidal energy. It’s something which can make a significant impact and contribution to our energy mix. It’s going to take time, and it’s not going to be a straightforward path, but hopefully, we’ll be delivering large scale utility projects just like offshore wind is today.”

Take a look at the video released by SME to get more details about the PLAT-I tidal energy platform.

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