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AMCS worked with MAKO Tidal Turbines to test and optimise a novel tidal energy device over many years, from early design concept testing through to a full-scale field demonstration.
Hydrodynamic testing was first conducted on a scale model turbine in AMC’s Towing Tank to evaluate turbine performance by measuring thrust and torque and to acquire experimentally derived flow fields around the device using the laser diagnostic tool, Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV).
AMCS and MAKO Tidal Turbines subsequently collaborated to demonstrate the real-world operation of the turbine for a prolonged period in a well-developed tidal flow location in Tasmania’s Tamar River.
AMCS activity included characterization of the selected field site including bathymetry and velocity profiles, design and analysis of a turbine mooring, survey and tow testing on MAKO’s own test barge, conducting risk assessments and producing procedures for load-in and load-out of the turbine.
AMCS field engineers deployed the turbine that was monitored in-situ for a total of six months. During this time, the turbine successfully generated electricity.
The work conducted by AMCS helped MAKO Tidal Turbines inform the next generation of its tidal turbine and provided important information in other areas including corrosion, bio-fouling and maintaining communications with equipment in remote locations.
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The pioneering project to deploy a MAKO tidal turbine in real-world conditions in Australia has been a great success and the next generation of products owe much to the lessons learned in the towing tank then out on the Tamar River together with AMC.