Irish tidal company unveils OC1 device

GKinetic Energy has launched its OC1 tidal energy device following the completion of two month trial at Limerick Docks, Ireland.

The launched pilot device is a 15 kW river unit capable of powering small communities from natural river flow. However, commercial deployment is expected to lead to larger units with energy outputs of up to 1 MW/h, DesignPro, one of GKinetic Energy’s partners, states.

The design of the device exploits the natural phenomena that occurs when water accelerates around an obstacle. The compact design and size of the GKinetic device also mean that it can operate in as little depth as 2 m and a width of 3 m.

The device was officially launched at the Shannon Foynes Port Company (SFPC) operated Limerick Docks where trials since late October as DeisgnPro states have validated earlier tests at the IFREMAR testing centre in Boulogne-Sur-Mer.

According to DesignPro, tests so far show that the device offers a potential Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) of €0.08.

Vincent McCormack, Managing Director of GKinetic Energy, said: “The global market for hydrokinetic devices such as the GKinetic device is estimated at 150 to 200 GWh, yet only 5% of this market has currently been realised. This particular device is a river unit but our plan is to create large scale tidal units capable of generating up to 1 MW. Our goal is for the deployment of units on the Shannon Estuary with the potential to create up to 300 jobs from manufacturing to deployment and maintenance.”

The project has been part-funded by SEAI (the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) and also has support from Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI), National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) and SFPC.

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