Sustainable Marine has recorded the first major milestone of the Canadian-German EvoFoil project after completing extreme load testing on a new 4.3m tidal turbine foil (blade). The marine solutions provider is leading the EvoFoil project in partnership with German organizations M&D Composites Technology and Leibniz Universität Hannover Institute of Production Engineering and Machine Tools. It aims to provide a series of design innovations to optimize the performance of tidal turbine foils while reducing production and operating costs.
In the latest developments, Sustainable Marine’s new 4.3m foil has undergone a comprehensive ‘static flex test campaign’ to demonstrate its future durability in some of the harshest tidal environments on the planet. The new foil has been specially designed to withstand the conditions of the Bay of Fundy’s Minas Passage, located in Nova Scotia, Canada. The site will host the company’s Pempa’q project to showcase the world’s first floating tidal power grid. The results show continued evolution with an increase in energy efficiency of 7pc, compared to previous 4m rotor designs.
Testing took place at M&D Composites facilities in Friedeburg, Germany, allowing direct feedback to the production team. The tests also proved the passive adaptive pitch properties of the new design – increasing the power generation potential.
“The EvoFoil project involves an extensive campaign of field and lab testing, to incorporate Sustainable Marine’s foil design, including tip geometry and overall composition,” said Tim Markwald, managing director of M&D Composites Technology. “One of M&D Composites’ main goals is to optimize the manufacturing process for turbine sheets and design a new generation of tools to reduce manufacturing time and costs. By increasing energy efficiency and reducing production costs, we can help reduce the overall cost of energy. “
“During the last lab test campaign, we also monitored sheet deformation and fiber deformations,” said Carsten Schmidt Leibniz Universität Hannover Head of Research Group High Performance Production of CFRP-Structures. “This is helping to inform broader work to develop a new ‘multi-layered’ material that will improve the mechanical behavior of the sheet and help counter different loads. We have introduced a new fiber optic strain measurement system to improve the process monitoring, providing deformation information with very high spatial and temporal resolution over the entire surface of the foils.We now have unique data that will be used to further improve the design concept.
In addition, the German partners in this project receive financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) through the central innovation program for SMEs (ZIM).
Source and top image: Energize Media