Tides are capable of producing electricity and are more predictable than wind or solar power. Just like wind turbines in the sea, they need to stand on very firm ground. All of that is known from the 60’s, but what researchers didn’t know was how to make that cost-effective, the main reason why development lagged behind.
A team of engineers at Nautricity in Glasgow came up with a solution as they envisioned it: the CoRMaT device, a new patented rotor system. It consists of a small-sized capsule, capable of going 500 meters deep. It doesn’t get carried away because it is attached to a floating surface and it resists strong tidal flows because the rotors move in opposite directions.
The concept version of the device has successfully generated electricity so far. Before the end of the year, it will be tested again at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.
Nautricity is one of the companies that could possess a licence to produce wave and tidal energy in the Pentland Firth. These events enable researchers to expect the generation of affordable electricity within a year. Not only that, but they already predict it will be able to compete with the wind industry. We can only hope for “competitions” like these, where for once, we don’t care who the winner is!