Because there’s not yet a standardized, optimal way of extracting power from tidal currents, many tidal industry technologies are currently being tested around the world. The Testing of a New Turbine Blade Design and Blade Materials project used Canada’s largest university aquatic research facility – Dalhousie University’s Aquatron – to demonstrate the potential of a new hydrokinetic tidal turbine design.
“Research like this enables us to branch our core technology into new markets, reducing risk for the business and enabling new revenue streams,” says Ryan Church, one of the project’s principal investigators as well as founder and Chief Executive Officer of Biome Renewables. “The core purpose of this project was to provide a proof-point that there was merit in the application of our technology in this new industry of tidal energy.”
Church says that the next step is to demonstrate that what the research team learned in the Aquatron trial can be carried forward into an ocean deployment pilot. “We will be continuing this line of testing in a new project that brings our model into the ocean environment,” he says. “The goals of this research will be to prove that the results of our tank testing hold in real ocean conditions.”
Church notes Biome is an industrial design and engineering company that uses biomimicry in its technology development, making the company unique in the space. “Our aim is to re-set expectations for renewable energy by providing intelligent solutions that decrease the cost and improve the performance of renewable energy systems,” he says, “and that includes tidal.”