Scotrenewables (Marine Power) has awarded a contract to Harland and Wolff to manufacture a prototype 250kW tidal turbine.
The 30m-long, 250kW device, which comprises two 8m diameter rotors, will be manufactured in Belfast before being deployed at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) test facility in the Orkneys.
Trevor Walls, the lead electrical engineer at Scotrenewables explained that the company felt that moving from a 1/5th-scale model straight to a 1MW full-scale prototype was too big a leap. ’In order to maximise our chances of success, we have opted to move forward in the first instance with a 250kW full-scale prototype,’ he said.
Harland and Wolff engineering manager Fred Black said: ’Scotrenewables tidal turbine developers have concentrated not just on the conversion technology, but importantly on making the device easy to install and maintain. Our input was to assist their engineers in developing the design to make it production friendly. This makes it cheaper to manufacture and enhances quality.’
Scotrenewables’ project leader Mark Hamilton said he was pleased with the progress so far and was looking forward to seeing the device in Orkney waters.
’This stage of the project is particularly exciting as, after years of successful numerical and physical model testing and development, we have now placed an order for the full-scale device. There is a lot of work left to do in proving the long-term viability of our technology, but testing to date has produced very promising results,’ added Hamilton.