The tidal industry has struggled to drive down its Levelized Cost of Energy since its birth over a decade ago, preventing it from becoming competitive and thriving within the renewable energy market. The two main issues lie in turbine complexity and reliability and expensive offshore maintenance.
The engineering drive to optimise energy extraction has led to many developers employing complex systems to increase output which has seen them encounter issues with device reliability. Reduced reliability results in increased down time and loss of revenue. To add to these associated costs the requirement of large and specialised vessels has incurred cripplingly high costs on developers.
The HydroWing solution combats these issues via a holistic and simplistic approach which reduces the cost, improves reliability and saves time and effort of O&M.
The HydroWing is a modular, multi-rotor tidal energy device with two main components.
1 x Permanent Gravity Based Structure
1 - 3 x Retrievable wings with 2-5 turbines per wing
This simple arrangement enables reduced CapEx and creates reliable power generation.
Key Features of HydroWing
Utilises Tocardo’s industry-leading bi-directional blades
Builds on Tocardo’s proven reliability and track record
Delivers increased yield through Tocardo’s patented passive pitch system
Blade passively pitches 180 degrees to face incoming tide, increasing efficiency
Forces passively pitch blades at high flows, significantly reducing loads and enabling larger blades with +50% yield
Instantaneous subsea electrical connector
Single centralised control hub
Single export cable
HydroWing permits a high packing density for arrays, maximising site energy yield
Cost and operational advantages of HydroWing
Patented modular design unlocks low-cost recovery for through life maintenance and easier in-field accessibility
Vertical launch and recovery corridors help to simplify maintenance
Reduced cost and greater reliability of non-yawing and bi-directional turbines
Turbines constructed from reliable off the shelf components enabling wide supply chain and reduced lead times to be accessed
Multiple turbines enable maintained power production in the event of individual failure
Support structure constructed from standard cross sections
Smaller turbines (5-10m diameter), reduce wake effects enabling increased power density and revenue potential of sites
Small turbines distribute loads evenly through support structure prolonging fatigue life.
Quad Hull Barge
HydroWing has created a new innovation to further reduce installation and maintenance costs – a low-cost barge specially designed for HydroWing.
The Quad Hull Barge uses four hulls connected by crossbeams and arch support beams. As a result, the limit to load width is dramatically increased.
Where commercial vessels would typically need to place the load onto the deck with little to no overhang of the load, the Quad Hull Barge locks the load after lifting to the gantry arch.
This reduces offshore handling and makes the operation much safer and less weather dependent. It means that the width of the load can be independent of the vessel width.
This pioneering technology overcomes the need for expensive offshore vessels, bringing great benefits to operators:
It is modular, so it can be transported by road and assembled at site.
Lightweight construction, which reduces manufacturing costs.
Being modular, it can easily be scaled up for larger turbines.
Low drag and easier to tow and can therefore be handled by small, locally available tugs.
Can be deployed quickly, which will help operators to reduce production downtime.
All of these factors will help to lower the cost of each intervention.
The retrievable wing arrangement creates, low weight modular generating capacity. This enables significantly reduced installation and O&M costs over device life. O&M of turbines consists of a simple process:
1 - Barge vessel arrives at site with LARS and connects 4-point moorings to position
2 - LARS lowered down to HydroWing using in built cameras and guidance systems
3 - LARS hydraulically engages with wing and wet mate connections released as lifted, moorings released
4 - LARS and wing returned to surface for infield maintenance or return to port
This procedure for installation and O&M has been central to HydroWing design to ensure accessibility, reliability and availability of the HydroWing. It will bring about significant lifetime cost reductions through:
Modular design enables standard shipment of all components
Utilisation of our specially designed Quad Hull Barge- eliminating expensive offshore construction vessels.
Minimal manning requirements
Maximised power availability due to rapid completion of maintenance
Staggered wings enabling unobstructed access to each wing in all configurations
LARS eliminating necessity for expensive and cumbersome ROV
All turbine electronic components accessible in single location for infield maintenance
Wet mate connected stab plates enabling recovery and reinstallation procedure to be complete in a single slack tide