To create a revolutionary turbine to generate electricity from slower tidal currents that leave conventional turbines useless. The turbines must balance ruggedness with cost. Tidal turbines are expensive to install and take a constant pounding from currents and salt water. They have to resist corrosion, cavitation and mechanical failures because the time for repairing them can be as short as 30 minutes, four times a day.
The turbines have to be durable, because it can be several weeks before anyone can get to one and fix them. By then they could’ve destroyed themselves and other turbines. Even when you can get to the turbine, hauling it out of the water to repair it and manoeuvre it into a ship is complicated and expensive. The key challenge was to reduce mass without sacrificing durability.
Founder Michael Evans, uses SolidWorks CAD and Flow Simulation to visualise ideas for the turbines which use duct with a stator/rotor arrangement to convert the action of water flowing through the duct to generate electricity. Most tidal turbines, by comparison, use bladed fans or oscillating hydrofoils that move with the tides. Green-Tide’s design can generate electricity cost effectively , in weaker currents. When he has ideas for modifying the design, he works them out using CAD and Flow Simulation, before showing them to his engineering team for possible development.
Evans modifies his designs with SolidWorks CAD and simulates their behaviour with SolidWorks Flow Simulation to improve the turbines’ survivability. That ultimately, improves their economic viability, which is a constant challenge in the renewable energy industry. Once he and his engineers have finalised a modification, they send a SolidWorks 3D model to a rapid prototyping partner that produces a part for live testing.