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Narec invests £200,000 in tidal turbine blade testing

The National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) is investing £200,000 in tidal turbine blade testing at its existing wind turbine blade testing facility in Blyth, Northumberland.

By Renewable Energy Focus staff

Equipment will be commissioned in the next 6 weeks, and commercial tidal turbine blade testing could commence in late spring, Narec says.

Tony Quinn, Director of Major Assets and Projects, says: “Narec has developed a leading blade testing capability over the last five years working with wind turbine blades up to 50 m. In response to demand from the tidal industry, we have identified the opportunity to adapt the second hub, within the existing facility, to meet developer requirements for the static and fatigue testing of the smaller and more rigid tidal turbine blades.”

Narec anticipates that a full testing programme, including static and fatigue testing, will take 6-8 weeks.

Learning from wind

There is currently no industry standard for the testing of tidal turbine blades, so Narec will follow similar principles and apply techniques currently used in the testing of wind turbine blades.

Narec will also utilise tidal modelling studies recently undertaken for the development of its new 3 MW drive train facility, to select appropriate loading for the testing of tidal blades.

The facility is supported by funding from regional development agency One North East.

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