The Netherlands: Tocardo Conducts Tidal Turbine Offshore Trials
In May 2013 Tocardo deployed its tidal turbine, equipped with blades made by Airborne Marine, in the Dutch Waddensea for a full scale offshore test and calibration program. The turbine was attached to a barge and was taken to the Marsdiep, known for its strong tidal currents. The motorized barge acted as floating foundation system that could be powered to simulate even stronger currents.
The foundation system, between barge and turbine, has been optimized and will be used for future projects. It is standardized and can be used for all site types.
The 6.5 meter smart reverse rotor blade that was used is specially designed for nearshore / offshore tidal sites. It is able to harness tidal flows from multiple directions by simply flipping the blades, without the use of a pitching mechanism.
The rotor blade was tested for its performance and calibrated with the performance models for offshore tidal sites. The test results exactly matched the performance models, which enables Tocardo to exactly predict the turbine behavior for any site. The rotor blade was also stress tested, simulating forces that occur during power loss situations. The blades, which were manufactured by Airborne Marine, withstood all the challenges the crew was able to throw at it.
A full “island grid”, with a diesel generator, was installed on the barge to test the advanced control systems of the tidal turbine. With this Tocardo not only shows the ability to operate within local grids, it also demonstrates new control strategies to maximize power output for any site.
Tocardo has a successful track record of 5 years and has proven its technology to be very reliable, efficient and cost effective. With the successful completion of the test program Tocardo has proven its tidal turbines are ready for offshore and nearshore deployment.
Press release, June 11, 2013; Image: tocardo