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SeaGen Gets Ready To Go, posted in Industry, Tidal Power.

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SeaGen Gets Ready To Go

News » Energy | Biofuels | Environment | Hydrogen | Solar | Transportation | Wind
March 12th, 2008 - View Comments

Seagen Paul Taylor: World’s first commercial-scale tidal stream turbine set to be installed. Bristol-based Marine Current Turbines (MCT) is set to deploy its 1.2MW SeaGen Tidal System in Strangford Narrows, Northern Ireland on Easter Monday. Producing enough clean energy for 1000 homes (when fully operational), this will be the first, commercial scale, tidal stream turbine installed and operating anywhere in the world. It will generate one of the most environmentally-friendly forms of energy – it makes no noise, is almost completely below the surface, never runs out and has zero emissions.

A British invention, SeaGen, will be installed by the crane barge Rambiz, operated by the Belgium company Scaldis, and overseen by MCT’s own in-house engineering team in partnership with SeaRoc Ltd, a leading firm of marine engineering consultants. The exercise, which will take up to 14 days and is subject to local weather conditions and final engineering work, is scheduled to start on 22nd March when the Rambiz barge sails with SeaGen loaded on board from Belfast’s Harland & Wolff shipyard to Strangford Lough, arriving the following morning. SeaGen is scheduled to be deployed on the seabed on 24th March (in the morning) and work will then start on fixing it to the seabed. Final commissioning will take up to 12 weeks.

The project and press offices for the installation will be located in Portaferry. A press release and photos will be issued upon SeaGen’s deployment in the Narrows. Timings and installation schedule will be re-confirmed closer to the time.

Article Submitted by: Paul Taylor
Update: The Seagen installation was recently completed

What do you think?

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  • Duncan Ford

    This is the first time I have heard of anything like this. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  • Bill

    Looks to me like it could be pretty hard on whales and dolphins, sea turtles etc. Cannot imagine routine maintenance on it either. And won’t it coast down to nothing, no output at all about 4 times a day, top and bottom of each tide? How is that going to work with the constant all day demand for power? Neat idea, I just wonder if we have thought it through yet.

  • Lynn

    This is wonderful. In reply to the marine animal lover,
    I would think they have considered the down side of this too, if there is one. People like you are the reason we are in the energy crunch we are. You can’t just stop progress for everything…. want to live in the dark?

  • Bob Wallace

    From previous posts I recall that the blades rotate at a relatively slow speed and are expected to pose no significant danger to sea life.

    Maintenance would most likely involve sending down a diver or two to connect a cable and unfasten the turbine from the tower. Haul it up to a maintenance barge. Easier than dropping a wind gen from several hundred feet off the ground.

    Tides are very predictable. Couple the output of a tidal generator with stored energy (heated liquids from thermal solar) or compressed air (from wind generators) and you’ve got a nice steady source of electricity.

    You could even store a portion of the tidal generator’s output using compressed air/advanced batteries to fill in for slack tide times.

  • Dylan T. (15 years old)(lol)

    wow there is one important factor that non of you are considering… if these turbines are in the water drawing energy from the water in the form of movement then the energy removed will cause a reduction in the speed of the water becuase of the turbines resistence. This reduction in speed may cause several things to happen… one a substantial increase in the rate and amount of depostion in the water causing a large build up in sediment and minerals that would normally have passed on harmlessly. Depending on the circumstances this could kill wild life because of the increase in water temperature. or it could actually slow down the turbine’s movement making it draw less energy from the water creating a less than effective generator…

    if you want me to continue contact me i am at

  • Chase A.

    Now Roperforlife,

    Let’s not be dense here. Think this out logically. Only one is being installed as of now. Do you really think this will cause enough resistance to actually make a signifigant change in the speed of the water? And Even if more were installed it can’t stop the movement of the water. The changing in speeds and tides of the ocean are caused my the moon. With the Moon’s waxing and waning it causes these to change creating steady movement. Until we can Disturb the tremendous outside force of the moon, We don’t have to worry much about the motion change of the ocean.

    Dylan Trafford…You effing retard you think YOU can stop the motion of the ocean?HA!

  • Dylan (the so called effing retard)

    Wow. This chase kid. Who do you think you are pretending that you know about the tides and that the moons waxing and waning effects the ocean (waxing and waning have nothing to do with the tides smart one). You misunderstood the point i was making… let me use an analogy to help you understand. Now when the world invented the atomic bomb did we build just one? No we did not. Once one was made and was so called successful they made one after another after another. I don’t see any reason why this same thing wouldn’t happen with this new “solution” for our energy needs.

    Next i would really appreciate it if you left the personal attacks out of this discussion (and fyi i do not plan on stopping the tides, that is what these turbines will do, duh) i also failed to see in your last comment , specifically stating, that you see proof that this turbine will not slow down the water or have any adverse effects on the wildlife or hydrosphere. Until i see actually evidence stating what you are making up, i stick to my argument….

  • Dylan

    And just to add on to my last comment, don’t some sea creatures travel on these currents to get to where they need to go? Like sea turtles traveling on the ocean currents…

  • John

    I understand what you are all seeing but as far as I see as long as these are at a fair distance from each other then the currents out side any force that these MIGHT provide would ideally continue moving it. Also it would require very little to safe fit these with some sort of screen that would stop animals from getting cut up and not hurting the power flow coming from it. Furthermore before the argument starts since the generator runs on existing movement the chance that an animal would get stuck is slim to none and on the slim side slope and smooth the screen so animals would just slide past, and just to show my original thoughts: hopefully these will be able to be put into domestic use for near ocean communities and stem some of the already troublesome energy use on land.

  • Clark

    French engineers have noted that if the use of tidal power on a global level was brought to high enough levels, the Earth would slow its rotation by 24 hours every 2,000 years.

  • Darin Selby

    I highly recommend that MCT research the viability of the WaterWing invention found at:

    The WaterWing is at least 3X as effective as any comparable-sized water current propeller generator. And it is safe for marine life to be around!

  • Matt Peffly

    I would think a that the water version of the WindWing referenced in post 11. Would be more useful for capturing energy from water in a general flow stream than from waves. Since it looks to be directional. Of course that does include all the rivers, ocean stream (like the gulf stream) and tide pool areas. If you ever get to the Netherlands, visit one of their large ocean dike projects. They have already build the structure to channel the water flow all they have to do is install the waterwinds.

    As for the energy not being continuous, in general that is true off all energy sources, even power plants show down for maintenance. Using the water wings in large flows (rivers ocean streams) would not be impacted by this, except for maintenance. For tidal pools you can always use buffering systems. Look at the large project just down river for Niagara Falls. During low demand periods they pump water up into a man made lake, during peak demand the let it flow out and through generators. It is just a big “water battery”. Yes it raises the “cost” of the total system, but at least you see the cost. Let us start charging the true clean up cost or better yet total environment impact cost of correct cheap energy systems (coal, gas, nuclear) and renewable looks a lot cheaper.

  • Wes

    My thoughts on the most apparent “downside” to using this device, the tidal change causing a lull in output: This can be avoided with several power stations installed in relatively close proximity where tidal affects vary. It is common for hi and lo tides to vary by a few hours at inlets and bay areas with that of the ocean. Providing these areas are close enough to warrant switching stations, one of the switch stations could take up the slack for the other.

    One potential drawback is the required maintenance to keep the blades clean from barnacles. One last comment, I can’t believe that the weight of the water pushing the tide could be affected enough to even consider the tide would be affected at all, at most, it will merely overflow the devices in place or seek lower resistance.

  • matt peffly

    Ok it has been a year. What happen?

    As for tide being impacted I would agree with Wes, this will be close enought to be ignored.

  • alan mcculloch

    We need to have several of those turbines operating in different parts of the country. That way when its slack water at one site another turbine can kick in and make up for the short fall. In the U.K. places like Strangford and Montrose basin could be dammed or a boom could be used to meter the water as it goes past the turbine.This is reliable clean technology and much more feasible than wind farms.

  • John

    Its been a few years now and from all accounts it is working well. As for slowing down the tide it has not effected it at all. With over a billion litres of water moving in and out on each tidal flow i don’t see how one (or even 10) seagens could slow down the water enough. From what i hear the turbine can operate for about 20 hours a day. Like a lot of renewable energy sources it isn’t meant to be the only solution. It is meant to be used with other low carbon energy sources to get 24 hour power.

    The crossbeam can be raised up and out of the water for maintenance on the generators/blades. I think seagen is the only tidal system that is producing energy and putting it onto the grid. Its good to see that a tidal company can actually back up what they are claiming unlike a lot of other companies.


    It really is a good required contribution. I understood that 1.2MW can be generated and 1000 homes can get power from the information. What is the cost involved for installation? Replacement cost? Cost per Unit? Whether individuals are allowed to install? If so what is the procedure? Please give complete detail, so that the benefit can be shared & the purpose can be achieved.

  • Richard Stroker

    OMG… man has invented a tiny little machine that will stop the flow of tides and slow down the rotation of the earth… we are all doomed.

    Come on now… they could fill Strangford Lough with the things, and it wouldn’t make any difference in the tide or the temperature. After all, it’s not a dam… just a few relatively small propellers on pylons.

    Stop embarrassing yourselves, some of you. Compare the impact of this to coal-burning plants. For the purposes of our species, that tidal current is available forever, free of charge… and more dependable than the winds.

  • Leonardo Q. Villarreiz

    We are currently doing some research to the energy production capability of our 400,000m3 water displacement capacity every 6 hours cycle. or 3-6m3 per second water volume displacement.

    How much would this 1.2MW Tidal Hydro generating outfit cost us.

    We are now coordinating with the Department of Energy and is now in the formal application process. Soonest we know the cost, the earlier we can program the implementation of the first unit co-funded by some foreign business entities.

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