Powerkite : Power Take-off System for a Subsea Tidal Kite
The overall objective of the PowerKite project was to gather experience in open sea conditions to enhance the structural and power performance of the power take-off (PTO) for the ground-breaking Deep Green tidal energy technology.
The PowerKite project progressed the state-of-the-art in several fields; turbine design, electrical power system design, advanced systems simulations, overall PTO optimisation and environmental interaction studies. The project also focused on design of the tether system, i.e. the system for attaching the power plant to the seabed foundation, including joints and fairing. Concept design of multi-device arrays of Deep Green power plants with grid connection for future commercial phases is also performed.
Open sea trials will play a crucial role in the project as the deployment of the first commercial-scale Deep Green prototype (funded via separate ERDF funding) will enable extensive offshore data collection for the PTO system.
The PowerKite project was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The project had a budget of 5.1M Euros and gathers nine partners including QUB, Midroc, Engie Lab, Minesto, Chalmers University of Technology, SSPA, Applied Computing and Engineering, UW Elast and Moorlink from three countries.
QUB were the coordinators of the project and the Primary Investigator Dr Kregting led the Environmental Assessment and supported the offshore measurements and data collection on noise and collision risk.
Impact of Research
Major grants and funding
This project is funded by:
US-Ireland NSF/SFI/DfE: Control Co-Design of Heterogeneous Arrays of Wave Energy Converters with University of Iowa, USA and University Maynooth. 2021-2024.
Invest-NI: Vertical Axis Tidal Turbines in Strangford with GKinetic, GES and PowerOn 2021-2023.
EPSRC: Flow measurement for accurate tidal turbine design (£97k total, £8.6k to QUB) lead Bath University. 2019-2021.
Horne, N., Culloch, R., Schmitt, P., Lieber, L., Wilson, B., Dale, A., Houghton, J., & Kregting, L. (2021). Collision risk modelling for tidal energy devices: A flexible simulation-based approach. Journal of Environmental Management, 278(1), . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.111484
Lieber, L., Nimmo-Smith, W. A. M., Waggitt, J. J., & Kregting, L. (2019). Localised anthropogenic wake generates a predictable foraging hotspot for top predators. Communications Biology, 2(123), . https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-019-0364-z
Pine, M. K., Schmitt, P., Culloch, R. M., Lieber, L., & Kregting, L. T. (2019). Providing ecological context to anthropogenic subsea noise: Assessing listening space reductions of marine mammals from tidal energy devices. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 103, 49-57. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2018.12.024
Schmitt, P., Pine, M. K., Culloch, R. M., Lieber, L., & Kregting, L. T. (2018). Noise characterization of a subsea tidal kite. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 144(5), EL441-EL446. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.5080268
Lieber, L., Nimmo-Smith, W. A. M., Waggitt, J. J., & Kregting, L. (2018). Fine-scale hydrodynamic metrics underlying predator occupancy patterns in tidal stream environments. Ecological Indicators, 94(1), 307-408. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2018.06.071
Schmitt, P., Culloch, R., Lieber, L., Molander, S., Hammar, L., & Kregting, L. (2017). A tool for simulating collision probabilities of animals with marine renewable energy devices. PLoS ONE, 12(11), [e0188780]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0188780
The School of Natural and Built Environment at Queen's University Belfast is one of nine partners involved in this project. Details of all partners are available on the following website:
Powerkite Consortium: https://www.powerkite-project.eu/consortium/
Sustainable Development Goals
The project aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals 7 (Affordable Clean Energy) and 14 (Life below water) to develop clean carbon free energy.
Find out more
Media commentaries and columns on professional matters:
- BBC Coast – (February 2020)
- Tide – Episode 3 Harnessing the Tide (2019)
Current Students working on marine renewables:
- Rosslyn Watret: https://www.quadrat.ac.uk/students/rosslyn-watret/
- Nicholas Horne: https://pure.qub.ac.uk/en/persons/nicholas-horne