In two weeks of full testing on its AR1000 turbine, the international marine energy developer has secured performance data equivalent to four months of tidal exchanges. “We’ve learned an awful lot about the AR1000 turbine as a result of this testing programme,” commented Tim Cornelius, CEO at Atlantis. “Most importantly, the solid performance of the turbine in tough, simulated offshore conditions has given our engineering team confidence in the performance, integrity and reliability of the AR1000 turbine system. 

Working closely with their colleagues at the National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec), Atlantis’ engineers ran a series of tests designed to yield data on drive train efficiency, control system validation and the analysis of the thermal properties of major components under full electrical load. Narec’s controlled testing environment allowed the team to study turbine performance under a demanding, simulated offshore operating conditions, accruing a wealth of data in a short space of time. “Narec testing is an important step in our engineering process," Cornelius said. "Our team and all of our technology contractors will now take time to review and digest the data collected, which will feed into future design considerations. As we move towards customer delivery, we plan to continue to invest in both onshore and offshore testing.”

Tony Quinn, Operations Director at Narec, said he was  pleased with the success of the first drive train test in the new Nautilus facility. "Accelerated life tests, conducted from the relative sanctuary of an onshore test facility, will significantly advance the development cycle for tidal turbines and give developers in the UK a real edge as the marine energy industry approaches commercialisation."

Drew Blaxland, Chief Technology Officer at Atlantis, added: “For a technology developer, the opportunities that this facility offers in terms of control system optimisation and fast track commissioning are game changing.”