SKF innovation helps floating tidal energy project secure €10 million grant

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    2016 April 26, 10:00 CEST

    With SKF providing design engineering support and cutting edge technology, Scotrenewables has been awarded a European Commission grant to advance the commercialisation of floating tidal energy technology.

    Gothenburg, Sweden, 26 April, 2016: SKF’s industry leading technology and design engineering support is forming part of a groundbreaking floating tidal energy project that has been awarded a €10 million (£7.75 million) European Commission (EC) grant. The Floating Tidal Energy Commercialisation (FloTEC) project, led by Scotrenewables Tidal Power, has been recognised by the EC’s Horizon2020 programme for its ability to illustrate how floating tidal systems can provide low-cost, high-value energy to the European grid mix.

    The project will build on Scotrenewables’ existing two-megawatt floating tidal technology, the SR2000 – the world's most powerful tidal turbine. The aim is to demonstrate how advanced, full-scale devices operate in real conditions with high levels of reliability and survivability, while developing a greater understanding of factors such as installation, operation and decommissioning costs.

    Announcing the award of the Horizon2020 grant, Scotland’s Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said the FloTEC project “has taken a significant step closer to demonstrating that extracting energy from our seas can be a commercially viable, cost competitive option for producing clean, green energy”.

    Working together alongside other stakeholders, SKF will build on its solid relationship with Scotrenewables to provide sophisticated solutions, including bearings, seals, lubrication systems and condition monitoring, as well as proven design engineering support services, in the development of the Mark 2 turbine. The SR2000-M2 prototype will feature a number of innovations, including 50 percent greater energy capture through enlarged rotors with a lower rated speed, centralised MV power conversion, integrated energy storage and mooring load dampers.

    Jim Marnoch, Ocean Energy Manager at SKF, said: “Having established a strong relationship with Scotrenewables during the conception of the SR2000-M1 over the last three years, we are delighted to have been selected as a strategic technical partner for the FloTEC project. We bring to the scheme our extensive knowledge in similar fields, such as wind, marine and hydro, to provide application and design engineering support for this next generation machine. We will provide solutions from SKF’s five technology platforms, with some of these forming integrated holistic systems, helping to prove the true potential of tidal energy generation.”

    James Murray, Business Development Manager at Scotrenewables, added: “The ambition of FloTEC is to drive down the cost of tidal energy through the delivery of a number of targeted innovations on an enhanced variant of our SR2000 floating tidal turbine. With SKF’s innovative technologies and support, engineering is underway and includes advanced power conversion hardware, low cost manufacturing technologies, load reduction mooring components and integrated energy storage."

    The SR2000-M2 prototype will be installed alongside the SR2000-M1 at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) tidal test site at the Fall of Warness in Orkney to form a 4MW floating tidal array. Here it will highlight the commercial viability of tidal stream energy as a base load supply, while optimising energy extraction for arrays in locally varying tidal resources.

    There will also be a strong focus on reducing the levelised cost of energy, with considerable capital and operational cost reductions expected at every stage of the SR2000-M2’s design, build and demonstration. SKF’s technologies will play a significant role in cutting the cost of tidal energy through enhanced performance and efficiency.

    On successful completion of the pilot, the two companies will then start to work together on an exciting journey towards commercialisation with small scale arrays installed initially and then large scale multi machine arrays thereafter.

    Aktiebolaget SKF

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