Atlantis Resources Corporation, which makes tidal turbines that look much like ordinary wind turbines – except that they are deployed on the seabed – is bringing its unit for testing to a more advanced facility.
Atlantis is a vertically integrated marine power company in Britain. The company’s «AR1000» tidal turbine has blades driven by tidal exchange, where the turbine’s rotation happens in the loose period between tides, becoming fixed in place for the next tide. Atlantis says its «AR» turbines can produce 1 megawatt of electricity at 2.65 meters per second of water flow velocity.
In May last year, Atlantis activated a turbine unit at the open-ocean testing site of the European Marine Energy Center in Orkney, Scotland, feeding electricity to the grid in July. Testing at EMEC lasted until November.
This time, Atlantis’ unit will be transported from EMEC to Blyth, Northumberland, where it will use the National Renewable Energy Center’s 3-MW capacity turbine drive train testing facility on its spring opening.
Narec, which supports the British government’s policy objectives on renewables, operates some of Europe’s largest testing facilities for offshore wind, wave and tidal technologies. It has invested over lb150 million in Britain’s research center.
«Atlantis will be a fantastic project to commission the first of two new drive train testing facilities under construction at Narec. Our 3-MW capacity rig has been developed for the tidal industry to extensively test the mechanical and electrical systems of a device in a controlled environment, out of the water,» Narec chief executive Andrew Mill said.
Atlantis said Narec’s controlled environment will allow it to focus on demanding operating conditions and accumulate more data in a shorter period of time.
The test program at Narec is expected to yield data on nacelle efficiency, control system validation and thermal analysis of major nacelle components. Upon completion, the turbine is scheduled to return to Orkney. Atlantis holds a berth at EMEC until 2015.
Atlantis is currently working with Lockheed Martin to complete a design analysis of its AR technology to integrate design amendments to the unit as it builds toward commercial specifications.
Atlantis is also developing tidal power generation sites in the Pentland Firth, Scotland; the gulfs of Khambhat and Kutch in Gujarat, India; and at the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy, Nova Scotia. – EcoSeed Staff