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SeaGen tidal turbine exceeding expectations

SeaGen, a commercial-scale tidal turbine off the coast of Northern Ireland, is generating more power than originally expected, said Marine Current Turbines, SeaGen’s owner.

Peter Fraenkel, technical director and co-founder of the company, said SeaGen already has delivered more than 350 MWh of power to the regional grid in Northern Ireland since it began generating power in early 2009.

“We are getting more energy than expected mainly because the resource is more energetic than originally predicted during earlier surveys,” Fraenkel said.

The turbine is driven by a wall of water about 27 meters deep, similar to the height of the Tower of London, at speeds of up to 10 miles per hour, Fraenkel said during the Lisbon International Ocean Power Conference.

The 1.2-MW turbine is equipped with twin 16 m-diameter rotors and is officially accredited by OFGEM, the United Kingdom’s energy regulator. The SeaGen system is the first marine energy project to receive renewable energy funding from the UK. (HydroWorld 7/24/09)

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