Hull, England — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 08 November 2010 – England-based marine hydro firm Neptune Renewable Energy Limited (NREL) has announced that it has completed a successful series of rigorous in-water tests on the full-scale demonstrator of its Proteus NP1000 tidal stream power generator.
“Marine renewable energy is available in the waves and tidal currents of the coastal water around our shores,” the company explained. “We are an advanced IP company working at the forefront of the industry and developing the sites and the technologies required to harness this energy for household and industrial demand,” it added.
“A key landmark in the testing process was the powering-up and generation of electricity as proof of the commercial potential of the device’s power curve,” NREL reported. “The tests were the final hurdle before the device is ready for commercial deployment in the Humber Estuary here.”
NREL has developed and cost engineered the innovative Neptune Proteus NP1000 to generate 1000 MW pa of electrical energy at protected estuarine sites with typical mean Spring tidal stream currents of less than six knots. These figures make the device very competitive with wind power generation and, unlike wind, tidal stream power is continuous and not intermittent.
The Proteus Demonstrator was brought to the Humber in July 2010. Upon successful completion of trials, the world’s first tidal stream power array, consisting of advanced NP1500s, is to be built and deployed during 2011/12.
Weighing more than 150t and measuring 20m in length with a beam of 14m, the Proteus NP1000 consists of steel buoyancy hulls, a vertically-mounted turbine with a 6m x 6m rotor, and computer controlled flow vanes within a venturi duct. The floating pontoon design means that the device is largely unobtrusive, with more than 80% of its bulk always hidden from view under the water.