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UK-based tidal power turbine manufacturer SIMEC Atlantis Energy last week unveiled the designs for its latest and soon to be the world's largest single-rotor tidal turbine, the 2 megawatt (MW) AR2000.

Clean Power

SIMEC Atlantis Unveils World’s Largest Tidal Turbine

UK-based tidal power turbine manufacturer SIMEC Atlantis Energy last week unveiled the designs for its latest and soon to be the world’s largest single-rotor tidal turbine, the 2 megawatt (MW) AR2000.

UK-based tidal power turbine manufacturer SIMEC Atlantis Energy last week unveiled the designs for its latest and soon to be the world’s largest single-rotor tidal turbine, the 2 megawatt (MW) AR2000.

SIMEC Atlantis Energy bills itself as a “global developer of renewable and sustainable energy projects” and currently boasts over 1,000 MW worth of power projects in various stages of development — including projects using tidal stream, tidal range, and waste to energy technologies.

SIMEC Atlantis is the parent company behind the world’s largest tidal stream away, the 6 MW MeyGen array located off the very north of Scotland. MeyGen is made up of 4 of the company’s 1.5 MW turbines, and acts as a precursor to the expansion and development of a further 86 MW which has already been consented.

In July, SIMEC Atlantis announced that Phase 1A formally completed construction in March and, by July (and including through construction), the project had already generated over 8 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of energy to the grid, including a world record (for tidal energy) 1.4 GWh in a single month.

Announced last Thursday, SIMEC Atlantis formally unveiled its next product, the 2 MW AR2000 tidal power turbine system which includes the largest and most powerful single-axis turbine available on the commercial market — which is expected to be available from the fourth quarter of 2019. The AR2000 has been in development for over two years and builds on the company’s AR1500 model which is deployed at MeyGen.

“The AR2000 marks the culmination of 15 years of investment, relentless experimentation, rigorous testing and subsea operation,” said Drew Blaxland, Director of Turbine and Engineering Services. “Not only will it be the largest single rotor turbine in production, it will be the backbone of a highly efficient and cost-effective generation system capable of deployment in each of our key target markets in the UK, France, Channel Islands, Asia, Australia and Canada.”

The AR2000 will be offered as part of a larger rotor to grid tidal generation system “with an array architecture that allows multiple turbines to be connected in parallel, reducing the cost and impact of the subsea infrastructure.” The turbine will also feature what SIMEC Atlantis describes as “an innovative new electro-mechanical pitch system, 360 degrees of yaw, upgraded onboard health monitoring and diagnostic systems, and optimised critical system redundancy.” SIMEC Atlantis expects the turbine will provide 25-years of operation.

“Our Turbine and Engineering Division in Bristol is an aggregation of the best, brightest and most experienced tidal power engineers in Europe,” said Blaxland.

“We lead the world in turbine design, subsea connection and offshore intervention operations. The AR2000 draws on lessons learned during more than 13,000 hours of operation of the Marine Current Turbines SeaGen turbine in Northern Ireland and 4,000 operational hours of the AR1500 in Scotland. The AR2000 will enable multi-turbine connection onto a single power export cable to reduce cost and its larger rotor diameter will deliver greater efficiencies over a range of flow regimes.

“The AR2000 system has been designed to deliver a lower levelised cost of energy and increased reliability. Combining a larger rotor diameter with a drive-train capable of being daisy-chain linked, optimised redundancy and quick connection will deliver an offshore generation system that can compete with other comparable sources of renewable generation when deployed at scale.”

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