Pempa’q In-stream Tidal Energy Project (Canada) Copyright: © sustainablemarine.com/pempa-q


Maximilian Zweiffel © Copyright: CWD


Maximilian Zweiffel

Group Lead Test


+49 241 80 90896


  Tidal turbine test bench at CWD Copyright: © CWD

Optimization of a floating tidal energy system

Compared to conventional types of renewable energy generation, tidal turbines offer the advantage of a very high predictability of energy yield. This makes them particularly suitable for supplying critical infrastructure near the coast. However, multi-axial stresses caused by ocean currents make it difficult to achieve the operational reliability required for this purpose. In particular, damage to components is a common occurrence, even though standardized calculation guidelines confirm operational reliability. The reason for this is that, according to the current state of the art, it is not possible to fully consider every aspect of the complex load situation resulting from multi-axial stress in the design. Investigations on prototypes are therefore absolutely necessary.

Taking this into account, SCHOTTEL HYDRO GmbH (SHY) carried out preliminary experimental tests on prototypes during the development of a new tidal turbine system in order to ensure operational reliability under real application conditions. The evaluation of the tests was based on the subsequent examination of all components for indications of damage. This enabled necessary technical adjustments to be identified and implemented as part of the research project "Optimization of a floating turbine system (OsT)". The result of the adaptation is an improved prototype whose operational reliability is to be ensured in the next step.

However, as long testing times of the prototype turbine significantly increase the development time of the tidal turbine system and thus jeopardize the economic success of the development, a full-scale prototype test is to be avoided. Instead, operational reliability is to be ensured by six-month tests of the prototype turbine on the test rig, achieving damage equivalent to five years of field operation.


01.04.2019 - 01.07.2021

Funded project partners:

Schottel Hydro GmbH Sustainable Marine Energy Ltd.

Project funded by:

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action

Project promoted by:

Projektträger Jülich