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Apparatus (2) for generating electricity from a tidal water flow, which apparatus comprises: a plurality of electrical generators (4) for generating electricity; and connection means for electrically connecting the electrical generators (4) together; wherein each electrical generator (4) comprises a rotor (6), a stator (8), and a housing (10); the housing (10) is a multi-sided housing constructed such that the electrical generators (4) are stably connectable together; the housing (10) is open at both ends; the stator (8) is inside at least a part of the housing (10); the rotor (6) comprises a plurality of magnets (18) positioned around the periphery of the rotor (6); the magnets (18) are encased in a protective material (20) which protects the magnets (18) from the water; and the rotor (6) has vanes (22) which cause the rotor (6) to rotate within the stator (8) as the water flows through the housing (10).

Apparatus (2) for generating electricity from a tidal or ocean current water flow, which apparatus (2) comprises: a plurality of electrical generators (4) for generating electricity; and each electrical generator (4) comprises a rotor (8), a stator (10), and a housing (12); the housing (12) is a multi-sided housing constructed such that the electrical generators (4) are stably connected together; the apparatus (2) includes positioning means (20) for positioning the apparatus (2) above a waterbed (22); and the apparatus (2) includes position-adjusting means (24) for adjusting the height and/or the direction of the housing (12) such that the housing (12) is always able to be at a height and pointing in a direction for receiving maximum flow of water through the housing (12), and thereby to enable the apparatus (2) to generate a maximum amount of electricity from the water flow.

News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: phys.org

Ocean energy represents a vast and largely untapped renewable energy resource. The global market for marine energy has been estimated to be worth around £76 billion between 2016 and 2050, according to numbers released by the Carbon Trust. To access this source of energy, oceanographers at Bangor University's School of Ocean Sciences have been awarded two major grants totalling £230k to study ocean turbulence. The aim is to help improve the design and operation of tidal energy capture devices. The new projects link the Bangor team with oceanographic instrument manufacturer Nortek and marine renewable energy survey company Partrac. This team of specialists sets out to greatly improve the assessment of risks associated with turbulence and so help reduce development costs, leading to cheaper energy from the tides. "The shallow seas around the UK represent one of the best tidal energy resources globally, accounting for some 10% of the global total. In consequence, the tidal energy industry is an emerging and steadily growing sector of the UK economy", says Dr Martin Austin from Bangor University's School of Ocean Sciences. Physical oceanographers at Bangor University are recognized as world leaders in ocean turbulence research. The findings from these projects will be integrated into Nortek's innovative product development. However, this is certainly not the first tidal energy project for ADCP specialist Nortek. "Nortek has been there to help the tidal energy industry since the start. The first installation with Norwegian renewable energy company Hammerfest Strøm was operational more than ten years ago", says Atle Lohrmann, CEO and founder of Nortek. During the past years, the need to understand how tidal turbines could withstand very strong currents required Nortek to develop new measurement capabilities. "We participate in all phases of tidal energy projects: This includes science of understanding the current and wave climate, resource assessment at a specific location, and also monitoring the currents during production", Lohrmann adds. The tidal turbulence study will be executed as two related projects supported by grants from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS2). The first project will focus on the collection of novel turbulence data in the Menai Strait, and also further offshore to the north-west of Anglesey. This effort will further develop the world-leading expertise in acoustic and optical observation techniques pioneered at Bangor. The second project will focus on advancing the measurement of turbulence in energetic tidal flows, also working in the natural laboratory of the Menai Strait. Explore further: Ocean mavericks in Maine turn tide for electrical grid

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: PEOPLE-2007-1-1-ITN | Award Amount: 3.58M | Year: 2008

The proposed action builds strongly up on the logics of its predecessor with the same name. The overall objective is to create a pool of specialised wave energy research professionals to support an emerging industry in a field with a very strong anticipated growth and no dedicated existing training curriculum. Although most jobs can be done being a trained engineer in one of the adjacent fields, the existance of interdisciplinary skilled researchers trained in direct connection to the technology development is vital for successful development. In the predecessor, almost all fellows where immediatley absorbed by industrial players in the field or continued research in the host institution. The work plan for WAVETRAIN 2 fellows is specifically directed towards a wide range of challenges that industrial-scale wave energy implementation faces in the present situation, with some bias towards technical issues, from hydrodynamic and PTO (Power-Take-Off) design, to instrumentation issues and energy storage and cost reduction show to be critical for successful deployment. On the other hand, also non-technical barriers, typically less tangible difficulties related to legal issues (licensing, conflicts of use, EIA procedures, grid connection, regional differences) and the non-sufficient representation of socio-economic benefits of the sector, will be dealt with, as they are seen as a major obstacel for fast implementation on a European scale. The methodology to achieve the desired results is to provide (i) in-depth training in one applied research topic (host institution), (ii) good interdisciplinary background and understanding of industry environment (short courses and secondments), and (iii) active participation in wave power plant testing in the sea (some of the profiles; others: site visits). The in-depth training at the host institution will be incorporated in relevant research topics, where typically an advance the state-of-the-art is expected.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENERGY-2007-2.6-01 | Award Amount: 4.52M | Year: 2008

Wave Energy Convertors are at an early stage of development. First generation devices have been deployed at the shoreline and normally consist of Oscillating Water Column Systems. In order for these systems to progress towards full commercial realisation they must develop into suited to mass production. This project follows the successful FP6 funding round in which several fixed Oscillating Water Columns Wave Energy Convertors (OWC WECs) were funded at Demonstration level. These systems are now evolving from fixed to floating devices in deeper water, further offshore. This brings new challenges which this project aims to address. The project will concentrate on the development of new concepts and components for power-take-off, control, moorings, risers, data acquisition and instrumentation based on floating OWC systems. However, the components and concepts developed will have relevance to other floating device types. This project is proposed to run over 3 years. The project brings together a mix of RTD performers and SMEs selected from across the European Union for their track records, complementarity and relevant experience. The project has also enlisted the commitment of the Device Developers from the EU funded projects as Associate Partners to ensure that the project goals are both timely and relevant. The impacts of the project will be focused on reducing technical and non-technical risk in the marine environment as well as reducing the cost per kWh of generated energy. The new components and concepts will be tested on a floating OWC test platform at sea and these real, validated and verified results will be integrated into a holistic system model. This model will provide a Toolbox for wave to wire simulations of complete WEC systems.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2013-1 | Award Amount: 1.35M | Year: 2014

The Tidal Energy Converter Cost Reduction via Power Take Off Optimisation (TIDAL-EC) project proposes a set of research and development activities to substantially improve the economic competitiveness of a key developing sector of the renewable energy market: that of tidal stream power generation. Two of the largest and most critical components of any mainstream tidal energy converter (TEC) are the power take off (PTO) system (the shaft, bearings and other equipment which connects the turbine blades with the generator) and the electrical generator itself. Experts in the field of turbine and generator testing, the UKs National Renewable Energy Centre (NAREC) together with SME partners Tocardo International (TOCARDO),Ocean Flow Energy (OCEANFLOW), Minesto (MINESTO) & FiberSensing (FIBERSENSING) and Research (RTD) performing partners the University of Edinburgh (UEDIN) and SINTEF (SINTEF), plan to conduct vital research and concept design activities to determine the optimum design of a TEC power take off system and permanent magnet generator (PMG). These radically optimised systems will improve reliability, increase power conversion efficiency and facilitate reduction in the cost of tidal power. In turn, the results of this project will also help SME tidal developers (and their SME suppliers) to be able to offer warranties and guarantees to end customers (European Energy Utilities) and enable large scale roll out of tidal energy in the EU; supporting diversification of the European energy mix and helping to achieve European 2020 renewable energy and carbon emission reduction targets. The formation of the consortium has been carefully considered, in parallel with the resource commitments required to support the proposed programme of work. All consortium members have clearly defined roles and responsibilities within the work programme, and have determined that their return on investment is significant, appropriate and is in alignment with their strategic vision.

The present invention relates to a way of pressurizing a fluid to power a load, by initially pressurizing the fluid in a series of stages to yield a low-pressure fluid and further pressurizing the low-pressure fluid concurrently in parallel stages to yield a high-pressure fluid for supply to the load.

Ocean energy | Date: 2011-03-11

An energy conversion device, a removable assembly for use with the energy conversion device and an associated methods. The energy conversion device comprises a flexible diaphragm configured to be located between a first fluid and a second fluid and being moveable in response to variations in at least one of the first and second fluids to permit energy transfer between said fluids; and a limit apparatus configured to limit movement of the diaphragm at a limit position, wherein the limit apparatus defines a contoured contact surface configured to be engaged by the diaphragm when in its limit position.

Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Collaborative Research & Development | Award Amount: 450.92K | Year: 2014

This project will develop and test a mooring component for floating wind, wave and tidal energy installations - the intelligent active mooring system (IAMS). The system will reduce the cost of anchors, mooring components and the moored structure to reduce the overall cost of energy produced from marine renewables, whilst also reducing mooring footprints and providing some element of energy recovery from structure motions. The key project objectives include fatigue testing of the active mooring component, development of the intelligent control system and prototype testing. The final deliverable will be an investor-ready technology development proposition supported by a detailed technology report, prototype basis of design a costed development plan and a commercial business case analysis.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: SME-1 | Phase: SMEInst-09-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 71.43K | Year: 2017

Project FLOWSPA (Floating Offshore Wind Support Platform Assembly) will demonstrate the feasibility of an innovative floating offshore wind foundation structure Starfloat that combines spar technology with semi-submersible technology to provide a compact and cost effective low motion platform for supporting large capacity wind turbines at deep-water offshore wind farm sites. Energy analysts have predicted that, if a viable and cost effective technology can be delivered, the deep-water offshore wind market in Europe could meet 50% of Europes electricity requirement by 2050. Unlike competitor technologies the simple scalable Starfloat is designed for construction at existing shipbuilding facilities with restricted water depth thus opening up construction opportunities for European shipyards that are currently in decline. The innovative floating foundation design and assembly process takes significant cost out of the CAPEX of deep water floating offshore wind projects and removes the need for risky offshore marine operations. Starfloat therefore has the potential to be disruptive to the current perceived limitations of the offshore wind industry by bring floating offshore wind into the same levelised cost of energy (LCOE) as fixed foundation offshore wind. This will allow the project financing of deeper water wind farm sites, where the wind resource is stronger and more reliable, to be exploited using relatively low risk technology with the end result of reducing carbon emissions and reduced dependency for Europe on imported fuels. It also has the benefit of bringing steel fabrication work to declining shipyards and assembly work to deep-water offshore construction sites that are currently seeing a sharp decline in activity with the fall in the oil price and the collapse of the new shipbuilding market.

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