Scotland’s European Marine Energy Centre installs new Spanish floating test tidal turbine


Magallanes test turbine launch
Magallanes test turbine launch

Spanish tidal turbine company Magallanes has successfully deployed its floating turbine at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney – supported by the EU-funded Marinet project.

Magallanes has been developing its concept since 2007, already having trialled previous prototypes in test tank and river conditions.

The Magallanes Project decided to test their 1:10 scale model at EMEC as a first step towards testing in the next year of a full-scale prototype – 42 meters in length and 350 tons in weight – currently in construction. The 1:10 scale ATIR prototype was installed on EMEC’s Shapinsay Sound test site.

The prototype has a unit capacity of 2 MW per platform, which can be installed in any area of the world. Each floating platform is 42 meters long, 25 meters wide and 350 tons in weight. Magallanes Renovables was set up in 2007. Its main shareholders are the Spanish company Sagres SL, Cardama Shipyards and CNV Naval Architects.

Marinet (the Marine Renewables Infrastructure Network), was formed to accelerate the development of marine renewable energy by bringing together world-class testing facilities to offer EU-funded testing.   

The aim of Marinet is to progress research and development at all scales – from small models and laboratory tests through to prototype scales and open sea trials. EMEC is a partner in the initiative which has brought together 28 partners spanning 12 countries and offers access to 42 marine testing facilities covering all scales.

Alejandro Marquis de Magallanes, Managing Director, said: “This test project allows us to demonstrate the integrity and viability of the concept and its subsystems in a real sea climate, and help inform the construction of our 2MW floating platform to ensure a stable and optimal design. “

One of the most important steps was to discover maintenance needs, as well as gaining operational experience at sea.”

Captain David Thomson, Managing Director, Orcades Marine Management Consultants, said: “As principal contractor, managing the marine operations and providing onshore support to Magallanes, we are pleased with the quick and successful deployment of the ‘ATIR’ scale tidal device.

” It was a real Orkney team effort with assistance provided by local companies Leask Marine and Heddle Construction.”

Eileen Linklater, EMEC’s client relationship manager, added:  “There is a cluster of energy, maritime and environmental expertise around EMEC in Orkney, with an experienced supply chain providing support to projects like this.

“We are grateful to the Marinet project for enabling Magallanes to benefit from access to the test site.  Accessible real sea testing allows marine energy developers and suppliers to learn extremely valuable lessons about working in a real sea environment more cheaply.”

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