HydroWing is preparing to deploy its next generation tidal energy technology, following the recent announcement that it has been awarded a contract for a 10 MW tidal stream energy project in Wales. HydroWing was the largest tidal stream project in Wales to be successful in the UK government’s latest Contracts for Difference round.
The project will be located at the Morlais tidal energy site in Anglesey, the UK’s largest consented tidal energy scheme, is managed by the social enterprise Menter Môn.
Richard Parkinson, MD of Inyanga Marine Energy Group, the parent company for HydroWing, said: “The Morlais project is a major milestone in our quest to become the largest provider of tidal energy arrays in the world.” HydroWing is now starting intensive work on delivering the project, including engaging with local stakeholders and supply chain companies while also establishing a presence in Anglesey. A comprehensive research project has already been conducted in partnership with Bangor University to assess the velocity of local tide currents. The outputs from this have been very encouraging in informing expectations on the yield characteristics of the site.
Richard Parkinson again: “This ground-breaking project will launch our innovative tidal stream technology at utility scale. Commercialisation of the tidal energy sector has so far been held back by high operations and maintenance costs. Our next generation technology meets that challenge head on.”
HydroWing is designed to be a cost-effective and scalable solution to tidal stream energy generation. A supporting structure sits on the seabed, under its own weight. The ‘wings’ which hold the turbines are then lowered into position on this structure. This makes HydroWing very straightforward to deploy. The turbines are bi-directional, so they generate power as the tide comes in and as it goes out. These turbines are also cost-effective to produce at scale.
The technology to be used for the Morlais project will incorporate the next generation Tocardo T-3 turbines. HydroWing has 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 of the turbines are well known, and is said to increase its yield by 50-60% , as well as making projects in lower flow locations more feasible and investible.
Image: HydroWing's new Tocardo turbines