A new project, which is set to revolutionize tidal turbine blades, has begun developing a state-of-the-art computer model to simulate blade wear and tear. The simulations will be used by the NEMMO (Next Evolution in Materials and Modelling for Ocean energy) project team to deliver a more performant class of turbine blade.

The NEMMO project will both improve the yield of tidal turbines and bring down the cost of producing energy from the tides. The project will produce an optimized tidal blade design using advanced computer modelling, innovative materials and new testing procedures. This next generation of larger, lighter and more durable composite blades will enable devices to reach capacities of over 2 MW.

Project partner Technion is currently using supercomputers and their innovative in-house code to simulate the flows experienced by tidal turbine blades. They have successfully implemented and tested a model that simulates complex turbulent flow over a hydrofoil, causing material stress and surface fatigue. This model will pave the way for innovative adaptations to reduce blade damage and improve hydrodynamic performance.

NEMMO's innovations will benefit the tidal energy sector as a whole. A blade with increased performance and reduced costs will aid tidal energy developers in commercializing their devices and securing investment for projects. The advances in the state-of-the-art of design, modelling, materials and testing will have a broad range of applications for those working in research and the tidal energy supply chain.

The NEMMO consortium is a multi-disciplinary team that combines recognized research institutes, the most advanced tidal and composite testing laboratories in Europe, a core of innovative industrial partners representing the supply chain and the industry association of the ocean energy sector in Europe.

The 12 project partners are ADERA (France), Blaest (Denmark), Dublin City University (Ireland), Funditec (Spain), INPRE (Spain), ITAINNOVA (Spain), Sagres/Magallanes (Spain), SPNano (Israel), SSPA (Sweden), Ocean Energy Europe (Belgium) Technion (Israel) and Tecnalia (Spain).

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