England-based marine hydro firm Neptune Renewable Energy Ltd announced that it has successfully completed a series of rigorous in-water tests on the full-scale demonstrator of its Proteus NP1000 tidal stream power generator.
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 at Hull, England.
Weighing more than 150 tons and 20 meters in length with a beam of 14 meters, 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 percent of its bulk always hidden from view under the water, a press release states.
Neptune engineers say the device should be able to generate at least 1,000 MWh/year.
In other news, the Wave Hub marine energy project off the Cornish coast has been plugged into the national grid for the first time as part of tests to convert wave power into electricity.
Wave Hub is creating the world's largest test site for wave energy technology by building a grid-connected socket on the seabed off the coast of Cornwall, England, to which wave power devices can be connected and their performance evaluated.
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