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What We Do

Severn Estuary Tidal Bar Ltd (SETB) is a UK-based research and development company dedicated to developing new turbine technology that has the potential to open up the Multi-billion Pounds tidal energy industry. SETB and Jacobs are collaborating to advance development of tidal energy technology using a Research and Innovation SMART grant from the UK Government.

SETB, Jacobs and a consortium of stakeholders, consisting of Cardiff University, Liverpool John  Moores University and the Tidal Range Alliance  (part of the British Hydropower Association), have been awarded funding from the UK government to help develop a new type of contra-rotating, bi-directional turbine. This new turbine will be able to operate at a much lower head of water than conventional turbines. The successful development of this ‘low head’ turbine will improve the viability and potential of the UK tidal range industry.

The project will progress the optimisation and testing of a Very Low Head Turbine (VLHT) via a programme of Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) modelling. It will involve building a large-scale test rig that will allow the accreditation and manufacture of a fully functional prototype turbine at Jacobs’ Warrington Technology and Innovation Centre. We anticipate the testing of this prototype will confirm the results of the CFD modelling and allow an outline design and pricing of a ‘demonstrator’ turbine, which will underpin the next stage of the project – a fully operational tidal lagoon or barrage. The VLHT is being developed to address the challenges faced by several UK Tidal Range schemes. The aim is to improve the performance and reduce the

costs of zero carbon electricity through the development of bi-directional generation and storage.

We anticipate the testing of this prototype will confirm the results of the CFD-modelling and allow an outline design and pricing of a ‘demonstrator’ turbine,which will underpin the next stage of the project – a fully operational tidal lagoon or barrage. The VLHT is being developed to address the challenges faced by several UK Tidal Range schemes. The aim is to improve the performance and reduce the costs of zero carbon electricity through the development of bi-directional generation and storage.

Total Global Energy Tidal potential is 1000GW/1TW. 100GW of Tidal Range Projects have been identified as technically viable sites.

UK tidal range potential consists of:

  •   18GW Lagoons

  •   45 GW Tidal Bars

UK Projects in development represent c. £75B of renewable energy capex.

Sources:

1: The Hendry Review

2: UK Wave and Tidal Key Resource Areas Project, The Crown Estate, October 2012

3: Tidal Energy Technology Brief, International Renewable Energy Agency, 2014

4: Jacobs UK market analysis and The Hendry Review

Map: Tidal range energy resource and optimisation – Past perspective and future challenges, 2018.

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