In 2017, Nova Innovation secured €2.25m of funding from the European Commission to develop an innovative Direct Drive Tidal Turbine (D2T2), with the aim of significantly reducing the cost of tidal energy.
We designed and produced a commercial demonstrator of this new turbine, which eliminates the need for a gear box. Removing the gear box reduces the number of moving parts, making the device more efficient and reliable than a conventional turbine.
The project successfully achieved its target of cutting the cost of tidal energy by 30% – thanks to clever simplicity. Fewer moving parts in the turbine improve its reliability and extend the period between service intervals from one year to more than two years.
The D2T2 turbine was designed by Nova’s specialist engineers, using learnings from our turbines already operating in Shetland. The first D2T2 device was built in 2019 at our manufacturing facility in Edinburgh. It then underwent extensive testing, initially onshore at ORE Catapult’s national test centre in Blyth in Q3 2019. This provided valuable data and validation about the lifetime performance of the new turbine, helping to de-risk operations before going to sea.
The direct drive turbine was then tested in the sea to gain real-world operating experience. This provided operational data and validation, demonstrating the performance of the turbine to make it bankable. The D2T2 turbine design and project results were independently verified by industry experts wood.
The success of reducing tidal energy costs by 30% and the commercial focus of D2T2 helped us to win our first export project for 15 turbines in Canada. Our new 100 kW turbine is ready to revolutionise the tidal energy industry, with the first being deployed at the Shetland Tidal Array, followed by more turbines at Petit Passage, Canada. Our innovations are rapidly driving down the cost of tidal energy, making it mainstream.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 734032.