Dutch tidal energy solutions company Tocardo Tidal Power has successfully tested a scaled version of its Universal Foundation System (UFS) at MARIN (Maritime Research Institute Netherlands).
Tocardo’s UFS is a semi-submerged floating 1.5 MW tidal power platform which holds five 300 kW-rated T2 bi-directional turbines. It is designed for deployment at near shore, open water tidal generation locations and the company believes it will become a valuable building block for offshore tidal power plants.
The 1:18 scale model was successfully tested in the Basin at MARIN, which has a length of 220 metres, a width of 4 metres and a depth of 3.6 metres. The A wave generator was fitted to the end of the Basin which had a capacity to create significant waves, up to a height of 0.55 metres at a peak period of 2.3 seconds. The test was able to simulate 17 metre high waves at a 12 second period in the real offshore marine environment. Regular expected wave capacity is 1.1 metres at a peak period of 2.3 seconds. Opposite the wave generator, a passive sinkable wave absorber was installed. The effects of wind could also be simulated ant tested through an adjustable platform spanning the full width of the Basin which was fitted with electrical fans.
“Our scale model passed the test with flying colors and behaved exactly like we expected and even better than that” said Pieter de Haas, Chief Technical Officer at TOCARDO Tidal Power.
Since 2008, the engineers at Tocardo have been attempting to deliver the best tidal power solution at the lowest cost of energy, following a thorough step-by-step product development process. The company has now built, installed and tested as many as 15 tidal turbines to date. Three linked turbines deployed by the company in the Afsluitdijk, a 30 km long primary sea defence in The Netherlands, achieved a total capacity of 300 kW. Another Tocardo turbine in the Afsluitdijk has been providing electricity for over eight years.
Tocardo deployed its first offshore floating project at the Island of Texel in The Netherlands in 2015 and its latest installed project is in the Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier (Deltaworks) where five tidal turbines generate clean energy. This installation is the largest tidal energy project in the Netherlands as well as the world’s largest commercial tidal installation of five turbines in an array. In 2017 Tocardo intends to deploy five 300 kW-rated T2 bi-directional turbines in Canada. These turbines will be attached to Tocardo’s patented semi-submersible Universal Foundation Platform Structure to form a 1.5 MW system held in place by catenary mooring system.