Aquantis engages in the EMEC tidal demonstration

Aquantis, Inc., a California-based tidal energy producer, has agreed to test its own Tidal Power Tug at EMEC (European Marine Energy Centre) in Orkney, Scotland, for a 6-month period in 2023 at the EMEC’s Shapinsay Sound scale test facility.

The Tidal Power Tug by Aquantis is a floating tidal energy converter of the second generation. A 2-bladed variable-pitch rotor with a 160-kW motor is supported by the adaptable spar-buoy structure and has a diameter of 10 meters. Aquantis will gain experience with maritime operations while generating producing data to evaluate its controller functionality, loading, and dynamics model, as well as load mitigation approaches at EMEC’s scale test facility.

EMEC will assist Aquantis with tidal resource surveillance and the supply of its Test Support Buoy, which allows for remote communications using the device, data relay through EMEC’s SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) system, and the safe dissipation of electricity generated on-site.

Project management, monitoring, operations, consenting, and performance testing will all be provided by EMEC. The Ocean DEMO program, spearheaded by EMEC, is supporting Aquantis’ Tidal Power Tug demonstration. The ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy) Submarine Hydrokinetic and Riverine Kilo-megawatt Systems (SHARKS) program of the US Department of Energy is working on the tidal turbine.

“We are ecstatic to have this chance to test at EMEC’s world-class facilities and collaborate with the EMEC team,” said Aquantis’ Chief Commercial Officer, Peter Stricker. “The Power Tug embodies a variety of design advancements developed through the SHARKS initiative, all focused on lowering energy costs. At the Shapinsay Sound test site, we will observe the system’s performance for the first time in open water. As we plan for rollout into the UK market, this appears to be a genuinely exciting time for the Aquantis team.”

While EMEC has consistently supported the marine energy’s growth in the US, Aquantis is going to be the very first US ocean energy producer to physically test at the EMEC, according to Richy Ainsworth, who is the US Project Engineer at EMEC.

“The Shapinsay Sound test site is ideal for Aquantis,” Mr. Ainsworth remarked. “The scale test sites are designed to give developers their first real-sea experiences in a gentler environment than our grid-connected sites, so they can learn about salty sea environment, test survivability in the gritty, installation processes, and collect data to verify models developed during tank testing.” We’ll be collaborating closely with Aquantis to assist them to get ready for their demonstration, and we hope to see them in Orkney next year.”

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