Nov 25, 2020

US DoE announces £26m for Hydrokinetic Turbine Development

HydroKinetic
Renewables
US
Dominic Ellis
3 min
Abundant renewable resource can boost grid resilience and reduce infrastructure vulnerability
Abundant renewable resource can boost grid resilience and reduce infrastructure vulnerability...

The US Department of Energy (DoE) has announced £26.17 million in funding for 11 projects as part of the Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy’s (ARPA-E) Submarine Hydrokinetic and Riverine Kilo-megawatt Systems (SHARKS) program.

The DoE says SHARKS teams will develop new economically competitive Hydrokinetic Turbines (HKT) designs for tidal and riverine currents.

"Hydrokinetic energy is an abundant renewable resource that can boost grid resilience and reduce infrastructure vulnerability, but it is currently a cost prohibitive option compared to other energy generating sources," says ARPA-E Director Lane Genatowski. 

"SHARKS teams will address this barrier by designing new, efficient HKT systems that utilize America’s tidal, riverine, and ocean resources to develop economically attractive energy generation opportunities."

The SHARKS projects will address at least one of four generation areas: remote riverine energy, remote tidal energy, utility scale riverine energy, and utility scale tidal energy.

Genatowski says that the project teams are encouraged to apply concurrent (as opposed to sequential) design methodologies: control co-design, co-design, and designing for operation and maintenance. These methodologies will significantly decrease the levelised cost of energy (LCOE) of the final HKT design. 

Projects will work to reduce the LCOE through multiple approaches, including increasing generation efficiency, increasing rotor area per unit of equivalent mass, lowering operation and maintenance costs, minimising potential impacts on the surrounding environment, and maximising system reliability.

The multi-disciplinary nature and challenges of HKT design requires expertise from a range of scientific and engineering fields working together concurrently. SHARKS teams will reflect this multi-disciplinary scope. They will incorporate experts in hydrodynamics, structural dynamics, control systems, power electronics, grid connections, and performance optimisation.

Two SHARKS projects can be found below:

University of Alaska Fairbanks – Fairbanks, AK

Material and Cost Efficient Modular Riverine Hydrokinetic Energy System - £2,489,209

The University of Alaska Fairbanks' concept employs BladeRunner's floating generator housing and tethered turbine to create a Hydrokinetic Turbine (HKT) system that has low capital and operating costs and is well suited for community co-design. The turbine is coupled to the generator by a flexible torsion-cable that transmits mechanical power while allowing the turbine to deflect around debris. 

This technology combines three significant new and innovative solutions to reducing remote riverine HKT levelized cost of energy: 

1. Highly material-efficient BladeRunner architecture increases swept area per equivalent mass by 130 percent over the base case.

2. The implementation of C-Motive's novel electrostatic generator to efficiently convert low speed mechanical rotation into grid-voltage electricity.

3. The shore-based deployment and retrieval method enabled by the BladeRunner modular design.

Ocean Renewable Power Company, Inc. – Portland, ME

Optimised Hydrokinetic Systems - £2,747,286

Using control co-design methodologies and design for operation techniques, Ocean Renewable Power Company, Inc. (ORPC) proposes a novel hydrokinetic energy system that identifies dynamic couplings between turbine subsystems and components to optimise system mass and performance. The new systems will be deployed in arrays. 

The project includes hydrodynamic testing of model-scale turbines to guide and validate the new concepts and the construction of a larger-scale turbine, with sensors embedded during manufacture to validate structural design. 

The team will perform open water testing and measurements of performance and loads by mounting the turbine in an open water test frame, based on the ORPC RivGen® Power system. It will demonstrate prognostic health monitoring and active load control approaches.

Share article

Jun 14, 2021

W3 Energy signs technical operations contract with Luxcara

Wind
Energy
Renewables
Europe
Dominic Ellis
3 min
W3 Energy and Luxcara sign technical operations contract ahead of Global Wind Day tomorrow and new study showing Poland leading Europe's growth

W3 Energy has signed a contract with Luxcara for onsite technical operations management for the Önusberget wind farm, which is Europe's largest single onshore wind farm. 

The wind farm, located outside of Piteå in northern Sweden, plans to have 137 wind turbines on full installation, with an expected capacity of more than 750 MW.

W3 Energy will be responsible for onsite technical operations management and local accounting services as well as operation and maintenance of the electrical infrastructure and transformer stations.

"This contract strengthens our position as a key player in onsite technical operations management. The Önusberget wind farm is the largest single-site wind power project in Europe and we are proud that Luxcara gives us the trust to support with the operational management of their investment", says W3 Energy's COO André Sjöström.

"The contract with Luxcara is extremely important to us and means that we take a firm grip on our home region. This contract allows us to continue to grow and we plan to continue to recruit in Piteå, Umeå, and Skellefteå."

The new contract with Luxcara means that W3 Energy manages approximately 15% of the renewable energy produced in Sweden and lays the foundation for continuing to build growth in other regions.

"Luxcara is an internationally respected asset manager in renewable energy, with high-quality investment criteria and a strong focus on diversity and sustainability. We share their view on sustainability, with a strong focus on environmental as well as social and ethical aspects", stated W3 Energy's CEO Pär Dunder.

Its past engagement with W3 combined with their track record from other large projects and their local experience were decisive factors for choosing W3 Energy, according to Philip Sander, Managing Director of Luxcara.

Global Wind Day will be held tomorrow (June 15), to promote wind's potential to reshape our energy systems, decarbonise economies and boost jobs and economic growth.

Onshore wind is now the cheapest form of new power generation in most of Europe, and offshore wind is not far behind with costs having fallen over 60% in three years, according to WindEurope.

Adrian Timbus, ETIPWind Chairman, said: “Wind energy can help electrify 75% of Europe’s energy demand and thereby deliver climate neutrality by 2050. But we must prioritise the development of the necessary technologies: next generation onshore and offshore turbines, electrification solutions for transport and for industry, and electrolysers for renewable hydrogen.”


Poland leads Europe's wind growth

Poland saw Europe's biggest increase in wind turbine energy production between 2000 and 2018, according to a Save on Energy study, and produced the fourteenth highest percentage of electricity by wind power overall in 2018. 

Czechia has seen second highest percentage increase in electricity production generated by wind power. Despite having the second lowest proportion of electricity generated by wind power in 2018, the country previously produced the lowest percentage overall in 2000, so it has still seen a significant increase in wind turbine energy production over the years.

France has the third largest increase in wind turbine energy production throughout the period studied, with electricity production generated by wind power increasing from 0.009% in 2000, to 4.9% in 2018, while neighbouring Belgium experienced the fourth highest increase in wind energy production, with almost 10% of electricity produced being generated by wind power in 2018, compared to 0.02% in 2000.

Although Ukraine boasted the lowest percentage of electricity produced by wind turbines in 2018 (0.7%), the country had the fifth largest percentage increase since 2000, since only 0.003% of electricity production was generated by wind turbines.

By comparison, Denmark, Luxembourg and Spain each ranked as having the lowest percentage increases when it came to the percentage of electricity production generated by wind turbines between 2000 and 2018, and they lag considerably behind other European nations.

The EU wants wind to account for 50% of the continent's electricity by 2050. The Romanian Wind Energy Association recently launched a Code of Good Practice for renewable energy.

Top 10 countries in Europe for wind growth

1. Poland
2. Czechia
3. France
4. Belgium
5. Ukraine
6. Turkey
7. Norway
8. Austria
9. UK
10. Finland 

Share article