Tidal Energy Turbines

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HydroWing and QED Naval joined forces in 2020 to work together on Tocardo because we could see the huge potential of this turbine technology.

Tocardo’s technology development started in 1999 and saw their first prototype produced in 2005. Since then they have developed two new turbine technologies, filed over 20 patents for industry leading innovations and become the world’s only commercial tidal turbine supplier. Additionally, they have operated more tidal projects any other and racked up more running hours than the rest of the sector’s major developers combined. Their technology is renowned for its simplicity, robustness and reliability, having achieved 90-100% availability across their projects.

A focus on reliability, with very low operations and maintenance costs has resulted in industry leading levelised costs of energy (LCOE). Tocardo’s turbines are direct drive, i.e. without a gearbox or mechanical pitch mechanism. They have a patented, smart rotor bi-blade design, which enables it to be bi-directional with a guaranteed 20-year lifetime.

Being bi-directional, the Tocardo turbines on HydroWing generate power as the tide comes in and as it goes out. These turbines are also cost-effective to produce at scale.

 

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T3 - The next generation

The HydroWing technology is to be used for the Morlais project will incorporate the next generation Tocardo T3 turbines.

We have been working on the development of a Passive Pitch Mechanism which integrates with the Tocardo Bi-Blade system allowing the blade dimensions to be increased, while shedding pitch at higher loads. This is similar to an active pitching mechanism but without compromising the reliability for which the Tocardo Turbines are well known. This increases the yield by 50-60% and makes projects in lower flow locations more feasible and investible.

The Tocardo T3 turbines design builds on insights from the 1.25MW tidal energy demonstration array in Eastern Scheldt, Netherlands, which completed in October 2023 after eight years of successful operation.

The Turbines

Tocardo produce a range of turbines that can be utilised in any source of flowing water be it in a river, estuarine, tidal pressure heads or barrages or civil infrastructure such as bridges.

The turbines have mainly been built into civil infrastructure to date, which has driven them towards incredibly robust and reliable designs. All the Tocardo tubines are direct drive power train meaning they don’t have a gearbox to maintain and cause reliability issues. They are also all permanent magnet generators, which makes them very efficient as they do not have to supply power to an electro-magnet.

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Tidal Turbines

Offshore tidal applications have introduced a new market opportunity using larger diameter rotors. Tocardo tidal turbines have a patented, passive, pitch changing rotor blade system which makes them very efficient and allows the turbines to optimise their performance for both the flood and the ebb tides, which generally act in directly opposing directions.