Schottel has announced that its hydrokinetic turbines are ready for use after successfully undergoing extensive tests in the Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland.

The full-scale tests, which included 260 operating hours under realistic conditions, showed that one turbine with a rotor diameter of four meters generates 50kW per second at a rated water velocity of 2.75m/sec, Schottel said.

The trial involved attaching the turbine to a moored barge – it was mounted on a lifting frame at the stern and lowered down into the operating position for testing. The barge was equipped with a large range of measurement devices and sensors to monitor the test results, with the turbine shaft rotations, torque and power output recorded for use in the performance assessment. Load cells measured the resulting thrust force, while detailed measurements of flow conditions were also taken.

The Strangford Lough test series was the first scientifically monitored testing of a Schottel turbine, in collaboration with Marine Research Group at Queens University of Belfast, in a project supported by the European MARINET programme. The testing method and characterisation of turbine performance have been developed according to the latest standards of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

“We greatly enjoyed these fruitful co-operations," commented Dr.-Ing. Ralf Starzmann, Research Engineer at Schottel. "We have already tested our turbine in lab conditions and in another sea test, but this time the testing conditions were certainly perfect and most realistic."

Schottel’s turbines are available with a rotor diameter between three and five meters. They can be implemented in rivers, sea straits and tidal races offshore on jetty, floating or submerged platforms in varying quantities, according to the customer’s needs.