NaREC launches Tidal Testing Facility

As one of Europe’s leading independent facilities for the testing and development of innovative new energy technologies, this June, NaREC officially launched the only independent large scale tidal testing facility for device prototypes in Europe. NaREC will be the only UK-based facility capable of realistically simulating conditions for prototype tidal devices at large scale.

1/10th scale prototype testing at NaREC's new tidal facility

Following successful trials at NaREC, tidal developers will be better placed to demonstrate and launch their full scale devices at open sea deployment sites. This new facility, based at the Tees Barrage, Stockton-on-Tees, compliments NaREC’s existing marine renewable capabilities in Northumberland, for grid connection, power conversion, and large scale wave device testing. NaREC’s range of 1/10th scale prototype testing facilities for marine renewables will help to drive the advancement of wave and tidal technologies across Europe, being a key stepping stone for developers as they take their concepts to market.

The first trials at the facility took place at the launch event on 8th June 2007. The event brought together tidal developers, investors and industry stakeholders who were invited to witness these first demonstrations and discuss future projects. The demonstration tests involved a tidal turbine prototype known as ‘Evopod’, developed by marine consultancy Overberg Limited.

The event included a networking lunch and a number of technical presentations including a keynote speech from CEO Andrew Mill, and Graeme Mackie, MD of Overberg Limited.

There are many companies worldwide developing unique technologies to harness wave and tidal energy. In order to make these concepts market leaders, developers must follow a strict development process, gradually increasing the size of their prototype models from small scale to full-scale.

Jamie Grimwade, Marine Renewable Technical Specialist at NaREC is keen to get started;

“Tidal renewables are well on their way to becoming commercial – especially since tidal turbines have much in common technically with Offshore Wind Farms but with less visual impact. NaREC is in a great position to give this market the support it needs to take-off in a big way.”

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