MaREI at the University of Galway has announced successful testing of a next-generation marine hydrokinetic turbine foil for renewable energy.
The technology was designed by US-headquartered global leader in marine energy ORPC Ireland and fabricated by ÉireComposites, based Inverin, Co Galway.
The testing programme is part of the €3.9 million European Commission’s Horizon 2020-funded CRIMSON project and involved 1.3 million fatigue cycles on the turbine foil – the highest number ever reported on a full-scale marine energy component in dry laboratory conditions.
The tests were led by the Sustainable and Resilient Structures Research Group at University of Galway, which is part of the Enterprise Ireland-supported technology centre Construct Innovate and the University’s Ryan Institute.
The 5m long foil is made from high-performance, carbon fibre reinforced polymer. It is shaped similarly to an airplane wing. When placed perpendicular to river or tidal currents, the foils spin under that force and the technology sends clean, renewable energy via an underwater generator. Three of these foils combine in each of two turbines in the 80kW RivGen marine hydrokinetic energy device.
The technology underwent intense stress testing in the University’s Large Structures Testing Laboratory to demonstrate its ability to withstand operational loads over its design lifetime.
Assistant Professor and Principal Investigator of CRIMSON
University of Galway
Director of European Operations