The United Kingdom’s Government’s Technology Strategy Board has made the reduction of manufacture, installation and operation costs of the next generation of tidal device a highest priority.
This is the cornerstone of the design philosophy for the Capricorn Marine Turbine.
The development of over-engineered and expensive marine turbines, being deployed in the most hazardous and demanding marine environments, has already taken its toll on the economy and the environment.
In Scotland - the global leader in marine energy development - 2014 saw the collapse of a number of companies in the marine energy sector, costing the treasury hundreds of millions, and delaying the wide-scale use of an almost invisible, zero impact form of energy which could meet all of the UK’s renewable energy needs.
Renewable Devices Marine’s unique and innovative technologies in the Capricorn Marine Turbine will be key in reversing this trend.
The Capricorn Marine Turbine’s technology lies in its novel blade profile which can work in both flow directions, and in an unique internal structure which allows for capture energy efficiently as tides go in and out in areas previously considered too low flow. These open areas of ocean form the majority of coastline allowing for a far greater use of tidal power which lie beneath the sea with little or no impact to the environment. It can be said that because fishing trawlers must navigate around the turbines, they actually provide a safe haven for marine life and allow the seabed to recover and regenerate.
Dr. David. E. Anderson, left, with Dr. Charles Silverton, in front of the Capricorn turbine.
The current version of the Capricorn turbine, rated at 50 kilowatts has completed sea trial testing and the company is beginning manufacture of the full-scale 1.25 megawatt variant. Both are twin, contra-rotating rotor devices optimifor simple deployment and efficient energy extraction across a range of tidal flows.
With the development of the Capricorn Marine Turbine, Renewable Devices Marine aims to revolutionize the generation of clean offshore energy. This unique tidal stream turbine has allowed Renewable Devices Marine to make available - for the first time, anywhere in the world - a technology which offers reliable tidal electricity generation at a cost lower than offshore wind.
The Capricorn Marine Turbine is designed to generate environmentally sound energy at the lowest cost per megawatt hour of any other marine generation technology.
The technology can generate electricity from average tidal areas found all around the UK and worldwide, rather than in a select few hard to access, environmentally sensitive, high flow sites. The company estimates that the patented technology of the Capricorn Turbine will facilitate an increase the world’s accessible tidal energy resource by five times from 90 gigawatt-hours to over 450 gigawatt-hours - a figure which could lead to the UK achieving over 50 percent of its energy from renewable resources.
Renewable Devices Marine envisage that this breakthrough will allow tidal energy to become the primary renewable energy contributor by 2025.