With the global ocean energy market worth an estimated €87bn, it’s unsurprising that more companies are looking to develop the innovative technology that will allow them to exploit new opportunities in the sector. A major tidal energy player is leading the race to develop technology capable of converting underwater tidal flow into a cheap and viable energy source.
To develop the means of capturing and converting the ebb and flow of underwater tidal currents into electricity, there was a need to create a pioneering new turbine generator. The unit needed to be virtually maintenance-free and both stator and core windings needed to be protected from the ingress of sea water. The company engaged specialist support from RJW’s. Whilst the turbine generator was a new design, RJW is highly experienced in the Wind sector, having previously designed several linear generators.
RJW Electrical Services Workshop in Liverpool manufactured and installed the core windings and polymer encapsulation, whilst the Mechanical Services Workshop made critical adjustments to the stator using specialist, large vertical boring equipment. Conventional polymer coating technology was deemed insufficient to protect the stator windings and an innovative, oil-filled enclosure was engineered. Long-term trials are underway at depths exceeding 100 feet, with excellent results. The project was completed at RJW’s Liverpool factory over a 6-months period, using ten of RJW’s specialist engineers.
“What was satisfying for us was that we were the only company they approached for this work, and we were happy to be able to tell them that we could do it.”