University CrestEdinburgh Wave Power Group

Tidal Stream Generation




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In recent years there has been a lot of interest in the generation of electricity from places where there are relatively fast moving tidal streams. Possible sites are the Straits of Messina between the Italian peninsula and the island of Sicily or our own Pentland Firth between the Scottish mainland and Orkney.

Many companies are active in this area. The best known is Marine Current Turbines with an off-grid prototype installed off the south-west English coast and a grid-connected one-megawatt machine at the the mouth of Strangford Loch in Northern Ireland. Their machines resemble horizontal axis wind turbines, except that they mount two such machines on either side of a piled vertical tower which projects above the water surface. Many years ago this group started with a single 15kW rated device in a Scottish sea loch.

Our proposed tidal stream generator is a much larger device which, because of its draught, may be able to utilise more of the resource. It resembles the kind of vertical axis wind turbines that were popular back in the 1970s, except that it has more blades. It uses a very large diameter ring cam pump - one of the key developments of our 1980s Duck design.

Proposal for a large, vertical-axis tidal-stream generator with ring-cam hydraulics.


SolidWorks image of Edinburgh vertical-axis todal rotor.