Photo(s) of the day: Tension tethers ocean currents

The FTMC Turbine demonstrator being tested in CEHIPAR basin (Photo: Seaplace)

 
Tidal turbine destined to go further – from shore that is – being developed through international EU-backed partnership has recently been successfully tested in Spain’s capital Madrid. In order to achieve the FTMC demonstrator’s efficiency levels – said to be one third more than originally predicted – the following tasks are being developed by Spanish and UK companies through a project set to complete in spring 2019.

The FTMC Turbine is a marine turbine specifically designed to harness the energy from tidal and ocean currents in those regions which, having relatively-high-speed water flows at depths with long distance to the seabed, cannot ensure an economic exploitation with fixed turbines.

Short for ‘Floating tension-tethered and self-steerable Marine-current Turbine’ – the project is being developed by Spanish company Seaplace, and its UK partner Magnomatics.

The design of the FTMC Turbine – being validated through prototype tests at CEHIPAR model basin – entailed delivery of several tasks by Seaplace to ensure the optimized performance, versatility and ease of maintenance, according to the company.

Seaplace scope for the 32-month project covers already completed preliminary design of the platform geometry and mooring system, and marine operation analyses.

Determination of the optimum location of the device, carrying out analyses and studies relating to environmental parameters, and considering the legislation in force in these locations also falls under the share of work to be conducted in the project by Seaplace.

Aside from tank tests, carried out together with Magnomatics, the Spanish company will also perform design validation from test data, and adjustments for an optimized turbine design.

The combination of a TLP-like or Tension Leg Platform mooring, and a robust and simple floater arranged as a nozzle, makes the concept feasible, according to Seaplace.

The coupling of a turbine with a Magnomatics Pseudo Direct Drive (PDD) generator will ensure a robust and a high efficient solution that can operate in the inherently rough immersed conditions, the developers hope.

Founded by the Spanish Navy – CEHIPAR is an independent public center for research, technological development and technical services. It houses a 6-meter deep still-water basin used for the FTMC Turbine testing (Photo: Seaplace)

 
Magnomatics is in charge of the design, manufacturing and testing of a scaled demonstrator version of Magnomatics PDD generator. Under the project, the UK-based company will design the optimum magnetic gear ratio and performance of the generator to match the operating conditions of the turbine.

De-risking of critical components and designs to for robust operation and performance of the generator will also be conducted by Magnomatics, which will also procure and build the power electronics and test equipment.

Aside from other responsibilities, Magnomatics will also design a solution for a full-scale version of the PDD generator.

The project is co-financed by the Eurostars Program, which supports projects of R&D-intensive small and medium sized enterprises, and is monitored by CDTI in Spain, together with Innovate UK in the United Kingdom.

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