Getting the most out of tidal energy

Part of the NEMMO Project branding material Part of the NEMMO Project branding material
Industry Database

A new project, working around tidal turbine blades, has begun developing a state-of-the-art computer model.

The model will simulate blade wear and tear, with the ultimate aim that the simulations will be used by the NEMMO (Next Evolution in Materials and Modelling for Ocean energy) project team to deliver a higher performance design of turbine blade.

The NEMMO project aims to both improve the yield of tidal turbines and bring down the cost of producing energy. The project will produce an optimised tidal blade design using advanced computer modelling, innovative materials and new testing procedures. This next generation of larger, lighter and more durable composite blades will enable devices to reach capacities of over 2 MW.

The NEMMO consortium is a multi-disciplinary team that combines recognised research institutes, the most advanced tidal and composite testing laboratories in Europe, a core of innovative industrial partners representing the supply chain and the industry association of the ocean energy sector in Europe.

The 12 project partners are ADERA (France), Blaest (Denmark), Dublin City University (Ireland), Funditec (Spain), INPRE (Spain), ITAINNOVA (Spain), Sagres/Magallanes (Spain), SPNano (Israel), SSPA (Sweden), Ocean Energy Europe (Belgium) Technion (Israel) and Tecnalia (Spain).

Project partner Technion is currently using supercomputers and their innovative in-house code to simulate the flows experienced by tidal turbine blades. They have successfully implemented and tested a model that simulates complex turbulent flow over a hydrofoil, causing material stress and surface fatigue. This model will pave the way for innovative adaptations to reduce blade damage and improve hydrodynamic performance.

NEMMO's innovations will benefit the tidal energy sector as a whole. A blade with increased performance and reduced costs will aid tidal energy developers in commercialising their devices and securing investment for projects. The advances in the state-of-the-art of design, modelling, materials and testing will have a broad range of applications for those working in research and the tidal energy supply chain.

Tecnalia’s Pablo Benguria, NEMMO Project Coordinator, welcomed the start of the simulations: “The NEMMO project brings together researchers at the cutting edge of their field, with a single objective: making tidal energy technology more competitive. I am delighted that the first stages of this research are underway, and look forward to sharing the results with the sector next year.”

By Jake Frith

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