Alstom offers new and improved tidal turbine

Alstom improves the performance of its tidal energy solutions with Oceade™ 18 – 1.4MW.

By K.Steiner-Dicks on Oct 6, 2014

Alstom has taken advantage of its experience with the 1 MW turbine to improve the design of its tidal stream turbine and now offers the Oceade™ 18 - 1.4 MW: a turbine even more efficient, cost-effective and easy to maintain, the power engineering firm has claimed.

With a rotor diameter of 18 metres, the new tidal stream turbine has a nominal power of 1.4MW and three variable pitching blades. It is equipped with "plug-and-play" modules on rails, easily accessible through an inspection hatch at the rear of the nacelle to enable faster assembly and maintenance.

“More, this turbine is buoyant, making it easy to tow to and from the operating site. Installation and maintenance costs are also lower because there is no need for specialist vessels or divers. The unit rotates to face the incoming tide at an optimal angle and thus extract the maximum energy potential,” said a company statement.

The Oceade™ is ready to be deployed at the tidal energy farm that will be selected in the call for expressions of interest launched in September 2013 by the French government. Alstom is currently working on the development of an Oceade™ platform concept to reduce the price of electricity and maximise the use of tidal stream resources according to local conditions (tidal current speed and depth).

In January 2013, Alstom successfully deployed a 1MW tidal stream turbine at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), a test site located off the coast of the Orkney Islands in Scotland. Alstom is currently testing the turbine, which has already reached nominal power of 1MW, demonstrated its autonomous running capability and generated over 500MWh on the Scottish grid, as part of the ReDapt Project (Reliable Data Acquisition Platform for Tidal), which is commissioned and co funded by the ETI (Energy Technologies Institute).

The call for expressions of interest plans to install experimental farms in two high-potential areas: Raz Blanchard, west of the tip of Cotentin (Manche) and Fromveur Passage, near Ile d'Ouessant (Finistère).

This project has received the support of ADEME (French Environment and Energy Efficiency Agency) in the frame of the "Investissements d’Avenir" programme, and of FEDER (European Fund for Regional and Economic Development).