A major challenge of tidal power technology is to reduce the Levelised Cost of Energy for the electricity generated, which requires reducing the capital cost of the hardware, maximizing energy output, and supporting high turbine availability. One of the critical components of a tidal turbine that influences this is the Variable Pitch System, VPS. The VPS alters the angle of the blades relative to the flow, and is used to control the output of the turbine, as well as providing soft startup and braking. Atlantis’ next generation turbines are moving to a subsea architecture where multiple turbines are connected to a single subsea cable, running at the same speed, and this makes the VPS even more important for controlling the power. The VPS is one of the more complex, and most active, systems on the turbine, but still needs to be highly reliable so that the turbine can achieve long intervals between maintenance retrievals, and survive in a challenging subsea marine environment.
The objective of this project is to produce a VPS that meets these demands at an affordable cost. Atlantis will be designing the system, with input from Asturfeito, using its experience of operating both the AR1500 turbine at MeyGen and the MCT SeaGen turbine in Strangford Lough. A prototype VPS will then be manufactured and assembled by Asturfeito, fully tested onshore, and then deployed on an Atlantis turbine at MeyGen. This VPS will be then be used on future Atlantis turbines, supporting the development of the tidal industry and the European supply chain for this market.
The project is divided into 6 work packages:
- WP1: Hub & Pitch System Design
- WP2: Manufacture, Procurement & Assembly
- WP3: Testing
- WP4: Performance Monitoring
- WP5: Project Management & Reporting
- WP6: Communication and Dissemination