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12 March 2024
Renewable Energy

Tidal Turbine Successfully Trialled at Wales’ Marine Energy Test Area

A tidal turbine designed to operate in remote communities has been successfully deployed and tested at Wales’ Marine Energy Test Area (META).

The device is being developed by a team of researchers at Swansea University led by Professor of Ocean Energy Ian Masters, and tested at META’s consented Warrior Way site in Pembroke Dock.

It is a real privilege to be testing tidal energy in a realistic tidal flow. META has enabled us to take our research out of the lab and into the real world.

We have gathered valuable data which we’re going to share with the scientific community, providing the tidal energy community with data needed to move more quickly towards commercial viability. – Ian Masters, Professor of Ocean Energy, Swansea University

Warrior Way, META’s primary tidal stream test site, is located upstream of the Cleddau Bridge in Pembroke Dock. It has consistent tidal flow, shelter from waves and good transport links by both road and water.

The site ranges in depth from 2m to 20m, providing ample space to test both scaled and micro tidal devices, as well as components, subassemblies and scientific instruments.

The 3m diameter two bladed turbine was coupled with a water pump power take off and was positioned below a floating barge from Rudders Boatyard. Multiple ADCPs were positioned around the turbine to capture the real-time tidal flow during testing to fully understand the turbine’s response and performance in relation to the flow as well as its effect on it.

The barge system, which includes a hydraulic arm to lower the turbine in and out of the water and moorings to fix the barge in position, was specially designed for this project, however it can be easily modified to test other turbine designs or support other marine energy research projects.

It is very pleasing to see the team from Swansea University make the most of all that our Warrior Way tidal test site has to offer – including its consented status, easy access, shelter from weather and the availability of real flow conditions.

The operations conducted by Swansea University and local marine contractors Rudders Boatyard and Dale Sailing were a resounding success from installation to decommissioning which is a credit to their capabilities and expertise. – Saul Young, Operations Manager, META

Wales’ Marine Energy Test Area (META) is the only pre-consented, pre-commercial test facility of its kind in Wales.

Funded through the Swansea Bay City Deal and a keystone partner of the Pembroke Dock Marine Project, META offers testing in real sea conditions for wave, tidal and floating offshore wind (FLOW) technology in the Milford Haven Waterway, alongside world class port, engineering and manufacturing facilities.

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