New funding opens up new angle for tidal energy development

More than one million pounds of new finance aims to help develop blade pitch technologies and optimise performance

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A tidal turbine developer and global drivetrain solutions provider have received £1.07 million funding to adjust blade angles and optimise performance.

Orbital Marine Power and SKF have received money from the European Ocean Energy ERA-NET Co-fund, which they will use to support a pitch controller project and optimise the performance of Orbital Marine’s floating tidal turbine.

The technology will allow the angle of floating tidal turbine blades to be adjusted in real time depending on the direction of water flow.

Orbital Marine CEO, Andrew Scott, said: “Pitch controllers have enabled the dramatic increases in turbine and blade scale that we’ve seen in the wind energy sector over the past decade resulting in significant energy cost reductions.

“We are delighted to be working with SKF on this project which will unlock similar improvements for our technology, where we are targeting up to a 50% increase in yield from our machines, bringing our performance firmly in line with more established technologies.”

The pitch module will be engineered through 2019 and incorporated for performance testing on Orbital Marine Power’s upcoming 2MW commercial demonstrator turbine scheduled to be installed at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in 2020.

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