Tidal energy developer, Oceanflow Energy, has attracted a £300,000 package of support to further develop and commercialise its second generation tidal energy device, Evopod.
The company has developed and patented a technology to generate electricity from tidal streams and ocean currents. Evopod is a buoyant tethered platform that supports one or more horizontal axis turbines.
The Scottish Investment Bank's Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF) has joined the latest funding round for Oceanflow, which comprises private investors to help support the commercialization of the product, which is soon to be tested as a quarter scale (35kW) demonstrator at Sanda Sound off the coast of South Kintyre, Scotland.
Graeme Mackie, Managing Director of Oceanflow, said: “Sanda Sound can be a harsh environment and it will be a good test of our technology for the eventual deployment of larger output units at sites in areas such as the Pentland Firth.”
Scotland’s wave and tidal sector is estimated be worth up to £1 billion to the Scottish economy by 2020. More than 25 wave and tidal energy device companies are currently actively developing, testing and demonstrating devices in Scottish waters – more than anywhere else in the world.
Evopod is a semi-submerged, floating, tethered energy capture device. It uses a mooring and power export solution that allows the free floating device to maintain optimum heading into the direction of flow of the tidal stream. In March 2011 the 1kW Evopod unit achieved the first successful power export from a floating tidal turbine.
Oceanflow’s current development is a quarter scale Evopod, which follows the successful operational experience of a 1/10th scale project in Strangford Narrows, Northern Ireland.
The quarter scale project consists of an Evopod with a rated output of 37kW, which will be connected into the 11kV grid at Southend, South Kintyre. In January 2013, Oceanflow’s Scottish subsidiary Oceanflow Development Limited signed a Lease with The Crown Estate for the site in Sanda Sound, which provides the opportunity for demonstrating its technology in an environment of 20m water depth and up to 4.5 knots flow speed, which approximates to a quarter scale Pentland Firth.
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