VerdErg eyes move to tidal sector

VerdErg Renewable Energy is setting up its VETT turbine technology for move into tidal energy sector following the approval by the UK’s Environment Agency to use it for run-of-river hydropower schemes.

The approval to use the Venturi-Enhanced Turbine Technology (VETT) follows the conclusion of two fish trials in the UK and the Netherlands to prove and validate the safe passage of fish through VETT.

The UK-based turbine technology developer said that several VETT projects have already been lined up and pursued in parallel to the general technological approval process which should ease the way to the first VETT installations.

VerdErg said it will now focus on pursuing commercial projects, deploying VETT in run-of-rivers schemes across the country and setting up the technology for its move into the tidal sector.

The company is developing a linear VETT suitable for power generation from tidal flows such as estuaries and tidal channels.

VerdErg received financial support through the Energy Catalyst program in 2015 to explore how VETT’s basic design principles can be used to develop a bi-directional design for tidal applications.

Following a 12-month long feasibility study, done in collaboration with Arup’s Advanced Technology and Research team and Brent Measurement Technology, VerdErg identified three promising full assemblies to be taken forward for development and prototyping.

VETT’s bi-directional designs for tidal application (Image: Arup)

A single VETT crossing has the ability to generate 250-1000MW of power, depending on the crossing conditions, allowing the tide to pass through the device with minor attenuation of the tidal range which minimizes the environmental impact on the upstream or downstream ecosystems, VerdErg said.

VETT is a patented technology that uses Bernoulli’s 18th century Venturi principles to draw a primary flow of water through the device creating a pump with no moving parts.

VETT’s Venturi pump draws a higher velocity secondary flow which drives a conventional axial flow turbine – the only underwater moving part. This allows it to function at an amplified head drop under a higher efficiency, according to VerdErg.