Spanish tidal turbine prototype installed at Orkney

A scaled-down prototype of an innovative floating tidal turbine has been installed at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, Scotland.

Developed by Spanish tidal turbine company Magallanes, and supported by funding through the EU Marinet project, the concept has been under development since 2007, and prototypes have already been tested in tank and river conditions.

Magellane's ATIR turbine being installed at teh EMEC site
Magellanes’ ATIR turbine being installed at teh EMEC site

According to EMEC, the 1.10 scale prototype, which obtains energy from tidal currents, has a unit a unit capacity of 2 MW per platform. A full scale prototype – measuring 42 meters long, 25 meters wide, and weighing 350 tons is currently under construction and is expected to be installed at an unspecified location next year.

Alejandro Marquis de Magallanes, managing director said: “This test project allows us to demonstrate the integrity and viability of the concept and its subsystems in a real sea climate, and help inform the construction of our 2MW floating platform to ensure a stable and optimal design.  “One of the most important steps was to discover maintenance needs, as well as gaining operational experience at sea.”

The project has been supported by funding through the EU’s Marinet initiaitive (the Marine Renewables Infrastructure Network), which was formed to accelerate the development of marine renewable energy by bringing together world-class testing facilities to offer EU-funded testing.