The DeltaStream Technology
Generating electricity from tidal stream technology presents a number of unique engineering challenges:
- A commercially competitive project must be able to generate power over the widest possible variation of tidal water flows.
- Costs must be kept low, despite the fact that traditional methods of installing marine energy technology, for example using piling, have proven to be time consuming, costly and require complex and expensive maintenance.
- Those locations with the greatest potential to generate electricity from tidal power are by their nature the most turbulent. The strength of tidal currents means that the technology and its associated infrastructure must be sufficiently robust to withstand these currents.
- The technology must not damage local ecosystems, including sea mammals and fish, seabirds, the seabed benthic community, the underwater flora and fauna.
- The technology must be deployable in a large scale array format.
A DeltaStream unit includes the following features:
- A triangular steel main base frame with ‘Rock Feet’ to secure the device to the seabed. By providing a gravity foundation for three nacelles, this system reduces the high installation and maintenance costs traditionally associated with marine renewable technology.
- An independent horizontal axis water turbine generator in each nacelle, supported on a tower at the apexes of the triangular main base.
- An automated hydraulic yaw mechanism for each nacelle which controls the orientation of the water turbine generators in relation to the direction of the tidal flow.
- Connection of the device to shore with an export submarine power cable, and power conditioning equipment for grid connection located onshore.