2015 is turning out to be an exciting year for tidal energy as one of the world’s first tidal arrays near Paimpol-Bréhat, France, will be deployed.
All eyes in the energy world are turned to the small French fishing town of Ploubazlanec in Brittany, where development of the tidal demonstrator farm kicked off under the leadership of Electricité de France S.A. (EDF). GE Power Conversion has been in partnership with EDF since the very beginning and is now on track for finalization of the electrical conversion system, due for summer 2015. GE’s Belfort team is working diligently to perform relevant tests before installing the system both subsea and onshore.
The turbine comprises four key components: a horizontal axis rotor, a direct-drive permanent magnet generator, a hydrodynamic duct and a subsea gravity base foundation. Simplicity is a key advantage of the device, with no lubricants, seals or gearbox, resulting in reduced maintenance requirements.
The turbines with the converter are placed directly onto the seabed, deep enough so as not to pose a hazard to shipping.