29 January 2015

On the 28th January 2015, Stirling and industry partner TWI Ltd co-hosted an exciting demonstration event in Bristol, showcasing new and innovative technology developed to help improve the efficiency of tidal energy generation.

Tidal energy is an attractive source of renewable energy; however operational and maintenance issues need to be overcome to realise its full potential. This is where the technology on display at the demonstration event comes into play. The Û1.4m project was funded the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under Grant agreement number 314839 and was titled REMO (Online Remote Condition Monitoring of Tidal Generators). The objective of the project was to improve efficiency of tidal turbines and contribute towards the successful commercialisation of the industry, and the overall project goal aimed to provide a condition monitoring technology for tidal stream energy which would significantly reduce the projected life cycle maintenance costs of tidal stream energy and the generator downtime to a level comparable with that of wind turbines.

The REMO system was developed to permanently monitor tidal stream generators and determine the vibrational signature of a healthy turbine and the evolution of that signature during the turbine life cycle. Other project partners involved in REMO included WLB Ltd, Degima, Co-Services International, Brunel University and Engitec Limited, and the project completed in November 2014. Further funding to commercialise the technology is currently being explored.

Stirling has provided technical oversight for the project and is now responsible for dissemination of the results and commercialisation activity. Stirling also owns the rights to the complete REMO technology.

The demonstration was delivered by the Stirling/TWI Ltd collaborative team and was presented to leading members of the tidal energy industry. The subsequent Q&A session provided some lively debate and discussion, and thus valuable direction for future technology development.

On the future development of the REMO technology, Pete Stirling, Stirling’s Business Manager – Energy Systems, commented that: “Stirling has broad experience in condition monitoring and the REMO project represented an excellent opportunity to utilise this in the marine renewables industry. The quality of attendees was fantastic and feedback gained will provide key insight as Stirling progress the business case for commercialising the REMO technology”.