A new project, set to revolutionize tidal turbine blades, has started developing a computer model to simulate blade wear and tear.
The simulations will be used by the NEMMO (Next Evolution in Materials and Modelling for Ocean energy) project team to deliver a more performant class of turbine blade.
The NEMMO project will both improve the yield of tidal turbines and bring down the cost of producing energy from the tides.
The project will produce an optimized tidal blade design using advanced computer modelling, innovative materials and new testing procedures. This next generation of larger, lighter and more durable composite blades will enable devices to reach capacities of over 2 MW.
Project partner Technion is currently using supercomputers and their in-house code to simulate the flows experienced by tidal turbine blades. They have successfully implemented and tested a model that simulates complex turbulent flow over a hydrofoil, causing material stress and surface fatigue. This model will pave the way for innovative adaptations to reduce blade damage and improve hydrodynamic performance.
A blade with increased performance and reduced costs will aid tidal energy developers in commercializing their devices and securing investment for projects.
Tecnalia’s Pablo Benguria, NEMMO project coordinator, said: “The NEMMO project brings together researchers at the cutting edge of their field, with a single objective: making tidal energy technology more competitive. I am delighted that the first stages of this research are underway, and look forward to sharing the results with the sector next year.”
The 12 project partners are ADERA (France), Blaest (Denmark), Dublin City University (Ireland), Funditec (Spain), INPRE (Spain), ITAINNOVA (Spain), Sagres/Magallanes (Spain), SPNano (Israel), SSPA (Sweden), Ocean Energy Europe (Belgium) Technion (Israel) and Tecnalia (Spain).