In April 2015, VerdErg was awarded co-funding through round one of the Energy Catalyst programme to further explore and evaluate the potential and technical feasibility of VETT for tidal applications.
This grant, set up by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, the Engineering and Physical SciencesResearch Council (EPSRC) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), was aimed at accelerating innovation in the energy sector by supporting projects that could deliver solutions to the energy ‘trilemma’ of reducing emissions, improving security of supply and reducing cost.
Image produced by Arup
VerdErg was able to respond to these challenges through a twelve month feasibility study aimed at applying the basic principles of the already developed onshore uni-directional run-of-river technology to bi-directional tidal applications.
To do this, over 50 designs were identified from the component level up to full assemblies and their hydrodynamic performance created and evaluated using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD).
In addition, the buildability of the most promising full assemblies was evaluated to ensure they were feasible and cost effective. This approach allowed the research team to achieve performance improvements and optimisations through extensive hydrodynamic performance analysis of the models created.
This work was conducted in collaboration with Arup’s Advanced Technology and Research team and Brent Measurement Technology and numerous stimulating design workshops were held to discuss model outputs and potential design iterations.
Three promising full assemblies will now be taken forward for development and prototyping. This is a great milestone for VETT as this bi-directional design will have the potential to transform the tidal hydropower sector and vastly contribute to diversity of energy sources in the UK and beyond.