Tidal Flyer performs tank tests at LiR NOTF as part of Selkie project

Irish tidal and river energy technology developer Tidal Flyer has tested its system at LiR National Ocean Test facility (NOTF), Ireland’s flagship facility for testing and development of offshore technologies, under the support of the Selkie project.

Tidal Flyer testing wireless control in the flume tank (Courtesy of the Selkie project)
Tidal Flyer testing wireless control in the flume tank (Courtesy of the Selkie project)

Based in County Clare, Tidal Flyer is developing a device that consists of a series of hydrofoil units which can be compared to a simple bi plane – except the ‘wings’ are spaced further apart to give ‘excellent lift’ and travelling vertically in the water as opposed to horizontally.

As the flowing water moves through the system, the hydrofoils transvers the flow and the system travels around in a loop – generating energy.

A key advantage of the Tidal Flyer device is said to be its ability to operate in low to moderate flow, due to its smart technology, making it ideal for the majority of tidal and river run sites.

Tidal Flyer was successful through an open call application for marine energy technology developers, hosted by Selkie project, which is strategically working towards the development of a streamlined commercialization pathway for the marine renewable energy industry.

Theo Devaney, director at Tidal Flyer, said: “The testing week at the LIR NOTF was invaluable for our development at this stage – the primary focus was on wireless underwater communications looking at various radio frequencies and antenna to design the system which we are looking to develop and deploy for our next main stage of testing.

“The LIR tanks provided us with a great opportunity to examine the effectiveness of the wireless control systems under laboratory conditions while being assisted by the expertise of the facility staff. It was a busy and productive week and we learned a great deal about the design requirements of our system.”

Jimmy Murphy, senior lecturer at University College Cork & MaREI, where the Lir NOTF is located, added: “The Selkie project is delighted to support wave and tidal technology developers and hope that the testing undertaken at Lir NOTF by Tidal Flyer will be an important step in their progress to commercialization.”  

The Selkie project is a €5.2 million cross-border project aiming to boost the marine energy industry in Wales and Ireland.

Over the last three years, Selkie has been bringing together leading researchers and businesses to improve the performance of wave and tidal energy devices.

The project activity has established a cross-border network of developers and supply chain companies in Ireland and Wales and has created a set of multi-use technology, engineering and operation tools, templates, standards, and models for use across this sector.

Selkie project is preparing to welcome three other marine energy technology developers test their devices over the next coming months.  G-Kinetic, ORPC, and Marine Power Systems are among the other Irish and Welsh companies to have successfully come through the call which Selkie project ran earlier in 2022.


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