Solving the energy trilemma – can innovative floating support structures for tidal turbines, which benefit from high reliability and low maintenance costs, be the solution? 

At a glance

  • DatesOctober 16 – September 17
  • SponsorEPSRC, Innovate UK 
  • Funded£26,256
  • PartnersTidal Harness Ltd.

This project will contribute to one of the UK's major societal challenges, known as the energy trilemma: how to decarbonise the energy system, improve energy security, and minimise the cost of energy to the consumer. 

Despite tidal energy being one of the most predictable and reliable sources of renewable energy, the cost of the energy produced by tidal energy converters is still prohibitive due to the support structures utilised and installation methods.

In the project a disruptive and novel platform configuration is proposed that differs from the other tidal device foundations by virtually eliminating any wet moving parts, and therefore lowering the costs and increasing the reliability. It is also designed to avoid the need of costly and scarce specialised vessels for transport and installation. This novel foundation concept will revolutionise the current design philosophy, unlocking new design spaces and opportunities.

Utilising the simple, reliable tidal turbine designed and experimentally tested by Tidal Harness Ltd, Cranfield University will apply its proven expertise in the design of offshore floating structures for the renewable energy industry to this innovative design.

Tidal Harness Ltd and Cranfield University will be supported by very experienced partners in the renewable energy area: The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and DNV-GL.

The ORE Catapult is the UK's flagship technology innovation and research centre for offshore wind, wave and tidal energy. DNV-GL is the world's largest technical consultancy to the renewable energy industry.