11.09.2012

Tidal Stream Energy: the 'Sea-Spider' vertical acis turbine

Tidal stream energy: the ‘Sea-Spider’ vertical axis tidal turbine
 
Tuesday 11th September 2012
 
Our first lecture of the autumn is on tidal energy and the development of a novel vertical axis tidal turbine, the Sea-Spider.  
 
Here are the details:
 
Title: Tidal stream energy: the ‘Sea-Spider’ vertical axis tidal turbine
Speakers: Simon Sanderson, inventor of Sea-Spider; and Charles Lee, engineer on the project
Date: Tuesday 11th September 2012
Time: Refreshments served from 18.30. Talk starts at 19.00. Ends by 21.00 following questions and discussion. 
Venue: Lecture Room 4, Cambridge University Engineering Department, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1PZ
(directions are at www.eng.cam.ac.uk/visitors/)
Web link:  http://nearyou.imeche.org/near-you/UK/Eastern/Beds---Cambs-Area/event-detail/0/6916
Notes: Free to attend.  Registration not required.  All welcome.  Suitable for students and all engineers.
 
Tidal energy has the attraction over wind and wave energy that it is wholly predictable. Tidal stream devices can be located under or near the surface of the sea, minimising visual and environmental impact.
 
Most of the tidal turbines currently being developed today are axial flow propeller turbines, mounted on structures positioned on the seabed. As the generators and many working parts are submerged, divers, crane barges or lifting structures are needed to raise them to the surface for maintenance, which is costly. Devices have so far been developed up to about 1MW, and the approach being taken to scale up further is to build arrays of turbines.
 
Sea-Spider is a novel vertical axis tidal turbine developed by Renewergen Ltd. Sea-Spider’s design places all electrical generating plant above the water, allowing easier and safer access, and lower operation and maintenance costs. It is designed to be scaleable to a large size, enabling economic deployment in a wide range of locations.
 
A nine month research project, partly funded by EEDA and the ERDF, explored the technical and economic feasibility of the concept. This included testing of a working model, development of computer simulations, input from specialist sub-contractors with experience of offshore energy and an independent due diligence review. A patent has been published. Partners are being sought to finance further development of Sea-Spider.
 
In the first in-depth talk given on the project, the speakers will discuss the advantages and challenges of tidal stream energy; the approaches being taken; examples of some devices that have been deployed; the features and advantages Sea-Spider; its development to date and lessons learnt.
 
The speakers will be Simon Sanderson, the inventor of Sea-Spider; and Charles Lee, who supported the engineering of the project.
 
This talk is suitable for A-level and university students, as well as practising engineers.  You are encouraged to bring with you colleagues, friends and members of your family who are interested in engineering.
 
A poster to publicise this talk can be downloaded from http://nearyou.imeche.org/docs/Beds---Cambs-Area/sea-spider_tidal_poster.pdf
 
This talk is organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire area.