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A small team of engineers in Cornwall has made a breakthrough with the development of a turbine that they claim could solve the commercial viability of tidal power.
The Osprey turbine can be used to create electricity offshore at sea or in tidal rivers and inland waterways. Following successful testing of a model rotor, a reduced-scale model prototype has been developed to assist in the design of a full-scale prototype.
It is the brainchild of Fowey-based FreeFlow 69 Ltd, research and development consultants in renewable energy, which is headed up by Pat Cooke.
The team conceived the unique turbine concept whilst working on design and development work for their offshore Ocean Hydro Electricity Generator (OHEG), a revolutionary concept using tidal energy to create electricity 24 hours a day.
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A unique and highly innovative UK developed vertical axis turbine that can generate power from the tidal movement of the sea, as well as from tidal rivers and inland waterways, has successfully completed the current phase of its evaluation trials according to its development engineers.
The Osprey tidal turbine is the brainchild of Cornwall-based FreeFlow 69 Ltd, research and development consultants in renewable energy, which is headed up by Pat Cooke.
Following extremely positive initial testing of a reduced-scale model in 2007, a full size prototype has recently been trialled with significant success.
A purpose-designed, state-of-the-art, 30ft long aluminium catamaran rig was designed and built by associate company, Able Engineering Ltd of Swadlincote, Derbyshire, for use in these trials.
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A revolutionary breakthrough in tidal technology, with a unique system that uses the tidal stream in conjunction with the natural rise and fall of the tide to create electricity, has been developed by a research and development company based in Cornwall.
It is hoped that a prospective grant from the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI), together with possible support from other commercial organisations, will now help turn this concept into reality.
The offshore Ocean Hydro Electricity Generator (OHEG) power plant allows electricity to be generated from the sea, around the clock.
Based on the use of tidal and chamber turbines, combined with energy accumulators, energy is created through the natural tidal stream and the rise and fall of the tide – a more reliable energy source than wind or solar technologies.
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There is more than enough tidal power in the Bristol Channel to make the whole of Wales self sufficient in energy. The key to achieving this engineering challenge is developing a new type of concrete structure, similar to the Mulberry Harbour used in World War two. The Mulberry Harbour, which was a structure made from pre-fabricated reinforced concrete caissons and pontoons was one of the best kept secrets of the war. It was designed and manufactured in England, towed across the Channel to the Normandy coast, and submerged and assembled into position, to enable supplies and reinforcements following the D-day landings. Sixty years later a similar design could be the answer to producing a cost effective underwater structure to harness the enormous available energy from tidal stream and tidal head in the Bristol Channel.
The Bristol Channel is one of the best locations in the world to harness this type of energy and particularly on the Welsh coast, where the power is generally greater. There are several locations with existing power stations where the cost of connecting to the National grid would be minimal. The tidal power system will comprise of a combination of turbines operated by tidal flow and tidal head, the concrete structure will create artificial lagoons to hold back millions of gallons of water and also create venturi channels to increase the speed of the tidal streams, making them more efficient. The structure would also be used as a foundation for a wind farm, with huge savings compared to a standalone wind energy system.
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The Westcountry's renewable energy industry has taken the wraps off a new green energy project that could eventually be hooked up to Cornwall's unique Wave Hub sea bed 'electrical socket' project.
The ground-breaking Ocean Energy Rig is designed to perform a dual role, capturing energy from both tidal streams and its in-built wind turbines, and is capable of generating at least 10 megawatts of electricity output.
The first device of its kind to be patented, it is the brainchild of Fowey-based Hi-Spec Research and Developments, headed up by engineer Pat Cooke.
Unlike traditional wave devices, the self-levelling rig would use the tidal stream to produce power, creating a constant and predictable source of energy. It would also be able to capture energy from both waves and wind and would use solar panels to power on-board computers and warning lights.
It is the second pioneering device to be designed by Hi-Spec R&D, sister company to Hi-Spec Engineering. Last year it unveiled its inaugural design, the Ocean Hydro Electricity Generator (OHEG), which can capture energy from both tidal flow and significant tidal height change.