Inyanga-Tech Ltd, which is based in Penryn in Cornwall, has completed Concept and Feasibility development of the innovative HydroWing Tidal Energy Project. The Concept and Feasibility study was aimed at demonstrating that the technology is technically and commercially viable.
HydroWing is Inyanga-Tech’s patent-pending tidal energy technology which is based on a full-systems approach, targeted at subsea tidal energy arrays by addressing fundamental issues that have delayed the industrialisation of the sector. The full systems approach integrates Installation, Operations and Maintenance at the core of the design in order to reduce operating costs. The technology also focuses on reducing component weights in a modular approach to reduce manufacturing and logistics costs. This combined approach creates an optimal solution for reducing the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE), especially at array scale.
Richard Parkinson, Managing Director of Inyanga-Tech explains: “During this phase of the project our team have demonstrated that by reducing manufacturing costs and developing an integral launch and recovery system, massive reductions in OPEX and CAPEX can be achieved making the technology commercially viable at both community and commercial scale.”
The Launch and Recovery System eliminates the need for expensive marine assets and allows for rapid response times to any maintenance requirements thereby increasing the availability of the turbines. At the heart of this is the 2-skid mounted passive heave compensated recovery davits and the unique (patent pending) recovery system which eliminates the need for Offshore Construction Vessels, Cranes and ROV’s.
It has been necessary to develop a bespoke turbine that meets the requirements of reduced weight and cost. This design of the turbine, powertrain and rotor has been contracted to Blackfish Engineering who have designed our ‘community scale’ power train- a 6x 65KW power train which includes a light-weight synchronous generator, multi-stage planetary gearbox and a 10m rotor diameter, optimised for rated flow speed of 1.7 m/s. This allows for a wider site selection and efficient operation in tier 2-3 category (lower to medium flow) sites. The technology can be scaled up for ‘commercial scale’ higher energy density sites- up to 2MW by integrating more turbines per HydroWing and larger power trains (4x250KW per wing). By focusing on the modular, low-weight, multi-turbine approach, The Inyanga team, have demonstrated that reductions in costs can be made in multiple areas:
- Reduced manufacturing costs of foundations including reduced fatigue and longer design life;
- Lower manufacturing costs and lead times for power trains;
- Reduced logistics and handling costs, key components can be containerised and delivered worldwide at low cost;
- Reduced downtime on turbines and increased availability;
- Significantly reduced installation, operations and maintenance costs.
The HydroWing project has received grant support from Marine-i. Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Marine-i is a partnership project aiming to boost the marine technology sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Their funding has enabled the recruitment of two specialised research project engineers and the turbine development by Blackfish Engineering.
Inyanga-Tech has also received additional support from the Marine-i lead partner, University of Exeter, which has undertaken research looking at Operations, Maintenance, Reliability, site development and Yield Analysis.
Richard Parkinson adds: “As the project has developed the Inyanga Team and our partners have become increasingly enthusiastic about the benefits of this modular design systems approach. We are now confident going into the manufacture of our first prototype over the next year. We are currently investigating several sites to test our first HydroWing. I am very appreciative and hugely encouraged by the support we have received from the Marine-i and the University of Exeter. It has really helped kickstart our project and set us on the road to success”.