226 – Tidal Power

(average: 4.39)

Guest: Pieter de Haas     Host: Markus Voelter    Shownoter: Andy Joiner

Tidal power refers to extracting electrical energies out of the tide streams in oceans. Various techniques exist. Tocardo is a provider of axial turbines, and our guest, Pieter de Haas, is their CTO. In this episode we talk about tidal power in general, siting, the design and engineering of Tocardo’s turbines as well as the overall economic and technical trade-offs in making the turbines work over the long run.

The podcast recommendations page I mention on the show is here.



Sea creatures avoid strong currents | Tip speed 20m/s vs 80m/s in wind turbines | Increase speed for efficiency when currents deter creatures | Fixed pitch turbine for reliability instead of variable pitch | Speed is measured by frequency converters | Speed is controlled by frequency converters by varying amount of energy harvested (Balance efficiency vs reliability - aim for reliability and minimise risk)  | Numerical modelling | Model for energy output, reliability & engineering cost | Over-engineer | 60 tones thrust load | 150 tonne-meter torque | Economic engineering | Emerging technology | Rare-earth magnet | Superconductivity | Cost of energy increasing | Future turbine cost reduction expected | Extreme fatigue | Material curve | Currently 35% efficient | Efficiency currently acceptable | Bi-blade patent | Blade direction is flipped by reverse-powering the generator as a motor



Aim for zero maintenance of underwater components | Remote monitoring and reconfiguration | Predictive maintenance | Annual inspection initially | Ducted turbine

About Tocardo


10 turbines currently running & connected to the grid | Turbines running up to 8 years so far | All running in the Netherlands | Type T1 6m blade diameter 110kw | Type T2 10m blade diameter 235kw | Mission is to manufacture and service turbines | 25 employees



Prototypes | Floating venturi turbine | Ring generator | Three blades | Two blades | Supply chain | Base load | Commercial pilot project