Smith Engineering shaping augmented tidal stream turbine

UK-based technology company Smith Engineering has reached a new phase in developing an augmented floating tidal stream turbine prototype.

Smith Engineering's tidal stream power generator (Photo: Smith Engineering)

The tidal stream turbine, boasting a ducted rotor design with augmenter cone, has reached a 1:6 scale prototype phase, Smith Engineering has informed.

In the next six months, the company plans to manufacture and install a small, 600-mm diameter permanent magnet generator on the rotor rim of the existing 1:6 scale working demonstrator to perform trials.

Model testing has shown a 50 % increase in free running speed, but the results also demonstrated that further work on the permanent magnet generator is required to prove the increases in efficiency, Smith Engineering informed.

Designed to work in estuaries, the ducted turbine has an augmenter cone which drops the pressure downstream of the rotor, according to Smith Engineering.

The 8-unit turbine array could provide 1MW of clean energy, according to Smith Engineering (Image: Smith Engineering)

Following the trials, the company will focus on manufacturing and testing a full-scale 125kW unit with a 4-meter diameter rotor.

Jonathan Smith, Business Manager for Smith Engineering, said the expected timetable for the completion of the project is approximately 12 months with a target date of October 2019.

The project to develop the technology – still pending a UK patent – is self-funded by Smith Engineering.