France: Tidal turbine development laboratory opens

desarrollo de turbinas mareomotrices

HydroQuest and the French Research Institute for the Exploitation of the Sea (Ifremer) have established a tidal turbine development laboratory . With support from the National Research Agency, the purpose of the laboratory is to design analysis tools and provide support for the creation of tidal turbines adapted to marine conditions.

VERTI-Lab: the tidal turbine development laboratory

The joint laboratory, called VERTI-Lab, was inaugurated on January 11 with the aim of generating specialized analytical tools and offering assistance in the design of tidal energy systems, thus facilitating the progress of commercial parks in this sector.

This joint laboratory, the first in Ifremer with an industrial player, should allow us to build together the necessary tools for the development and monitoring of commercial tidal farms. Experimental data will be used to validate numerical developments and the design of new generations of tidal turbines”said Gregory Germain, a researcher at the Ifremer Marine Hydrodynamics Laboratory.

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It should be noted that this project is the extension of a collaboration that the companies began in 2015.

Collaborators take advantage of the complementarity of their skills to jointly address technological challenges, focusing especially on experimental and numerical modeling. Likewise, its focus is oriented towards the study and optimization of the performance of vertical axis tidal turbines, the investigation of factors such as turbulence, the effects of wakes and sea conditions, evaluating their impact on energy production and the wear of the turbines.

In addition, they seek to refine estimates of operating conditions and develop suitable underwater stations to monitor the performance of tidal energy parks, as well as to evaluate interactions with ecosystems.

Hydroquest welcomes this 4-year program in partnership with Ifremer ,” said William Maurice, HydroQuest R&D Engineer.

“Following the success of our Oceanquest offshore demonstration project, this collaboration will allow us to significantly optimize the performance of our technology. In this way, the first advances can be implemented in our Flowatt project, the future most powerful tidal turbine pilot park in the world installed in Raz-Blanchard, supported by the Ministry of Energy Transition within the framework of the France 2030 plan.”

By creating the laboratory, Ifremer and HydroQuest anticipate strengthening their knowledge in hydrodynamics, especially in locations with high tidal potential. The experience gained through tests carried out in the wave and current basin of the Ifremer Manche North Sea Center in Boulogne-sur-Mer, as well as at the Sainte-Anne du Portzic marine testing site, adds to the previous evaluations carried out at the Paimpol-Bréhat test site.

It is relevant to remember that in July 2023, the French government committed to allocate at least €65 million in financing and targeted revenue support for the pioneering FloWatt tidal energy farm, with the aim of supporting the commercialization of the energy industry. tidal motion.

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