Tidal sector gets turbulence assessment service

The consortia that delivered the Turbulence in Marine Enviornments (TiME) project will now offer a turbulence measurement and assessment service to the tidal power sector.

The recently completed TiME project, part-funded by the Scottish Government through MRCF Array Technology Innovation Programme, and administered by the Carbon Trust, was established in response to the uncertainties regarding the highly turbulent tidal currents the developers of tidal energy projects often encounter.

The aim of the project was to develop a framework for measuring, classifying and predicting the effect of turbulence on resource assessment, device design/operation and array yield using a combination of modelling, field measurement and theoretical analysis.

The consortia behind the project, comprised of ABPmer, Ocean Array Systems, Partrac, and IT Power, is now offering a cost-effective measurement campaign, data analyses and performance assessment methodology for the interested parties, according to Kevin Black, Technical Director at Partrac.

Black said: “Turbulence – the unsteady component of flow – has significant consequences for structural loading and component fatigue, energy yield, wake development and hence array planning. Improving the understanding of turbulence in places of interest therefore has its benefits especially in terms of lowering costs.

“We are therefore really excited to share the experience gained, lessons learned and findings from the TiME project with the market. We can now offer a singular cost-effective but rigorous measurement campaign, data analyses and performance assessment methodology available to anyone.”

The project collected turbulence data at two commercially relevant Scottish tidal power sites: the Sound of Jura and the Inner Sound.

The main outcomes of the TiME project include the development of new methods to measure and characterise turbulence, with the data from the project used to demonstrate that designing tidal turbines and array layouts to the true turbulence existing at different points in a site could lead to significant cost reductions.

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