World’s First Commercial-Scale Subsea Turbine

Posted on June 30, 2007  Comments (1)

Artist's impression of MCT Seagen pile-mounted twin rotor tidal turbine

Earlier this month, Marine Current Turbines confirmed the installation date for its 1.2MW SeaGen tidal current system in Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough. SeaGen consists of twin axial flow rotors, each of 16m diameter driving a generator via a gearbox much like a hydro-electric turbine or a wind turbine. The twin power units of each system are mounted on wing-like extensions either side of a tubular steel monopile 3m in diameter which is set into a hole drilled into the seabed.

SeaGen is four times as powerful as the world’s previous most powerful turbine, SeaFlow, which Marine Current Turbines has been operating off Lynmouth in Devon since 2003; SeaGen will form the basis for the commercial projects that will follow. SeaGen, which is being assembled at Harland & Wolff in Belfast, will be connected to the local electricity grid and have the capacity to generate clean and predictable power for approximately 1000 homes.

Martin Wright, Managing Director of Marine Current Turbines said: “The new investment partners and the support of our existing shareholders re-affirm the commercial potential for tidal power in the UK and overseas, and recognise our engineering achievements in developing a world-leading technology. With SeaGen set to be deployed in August, we are moving ahead with our plans for a 10MW tidal farm, to be installed within the next three years.”

Each submerged turbines range from 750 to 1500kW per unit (depending on the local flow pattern and peak velocity). And they expect to deploy 10-20 at a time – more can be added for relatively less marginal cost allowing for incremental investment in new capacity. They expect the turbines to have an excess of a 20 year operating life.

We have also added a new energy category to the blog.

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One Response to “World’s First Commercial-Scale Subsea Turbine”

  1. Pierre Godin
    January 17th, 2016 @ 8:12 pm

    wow, this is very ingenious.

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