Results - Energy Innovation Needs Assessment. Sub-theme report on Tidal stream (2019)
Innovation areas in tidal stream
The main innovations for tidal stream are identified below. The list is not a
substitute for a detailed cost-reduction study. Rather, it is a guide for policymakers
on key areas to be considered in any future innovation programme design.
• Structure and Prime Mover: There is potential for innovations around the
use of materials (using concrete and polymers) and the design of improved
blades for turbines. Different classes of tidal stream device may prove to be
more suited to different resource environments, therefore there is also
potential for novel structure design.
• Power Take-Off and Control (PTO): Potential innovations in PTO technology
include permanent magnets and control of turbines to minimise turbulence,
increase yield, and reduce fatigue and improved pitch and yaw technology
• Foundations and Mooring: Innovations to replace gravity bases are required
to make foundations for fixed tidal devices more efficient. Advanced mooring
development and demonstration is particularly relevant for floating tidal
devices. Technology transfer is possible from the offshore wind sector.
• Operations and Maintenance: Innovations in physical maintenance
procedures such as reducing time spent at sea and the need to use divers are
relevant for fixed tidal devices. This could be using remotely operated
underwater vehicles (ROVs) and other novel condition monitoring techniques.
• Yield: Innovations in tidal resource modelling allows for greater understanding
of the tidal energy resource, enabling yield optimisation and reducing the