Neptune Renewable Energy, a UK based start up focused upon tidal and wave power, recently announced completion of trials of its Proteus NP1000 tidal stream power generator. What’s particularly notable about this device is what looks to be the low, above water visual impact of the floating pontoon design.
Neptune said of its Proteus NP1000 that, based upon data collected during trials, it is believed one of these can output at least 1000 MWh per year, or around enough energy to reasonably power 500 or so homes. The company believes it will now be ready for the first commercial deployment of one of these devices in early 2011 to power the Deep, a large underwater aquarium.
The Proteus, which is designed to work in the “large, shallow water tidal resource in estuarine sites,” weighs in at more than 150 tonnes and 20 m in length with a beam of 14 m. It consists of steel buoyancy hulls, a vertically mounted turbine with a 6m x 6m rotor, and computer controlled flow vanes within a Venturi duct. With the way it is designed, however, more than 80 percent of its bulk always hidden from view under the water.
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