Tidal current power stations
Voith Hydro Ocean Current Technologies, Heidenheim, is a Center of Competence for the development of ocean current power stations (tidal and permanent currents). Voith Hydro Ocean Current Technologies is an 80:20 joint venture with the RWE Innogy Venture Capital Fund1.
Technology: Freely flowing around the horizontal axis turbine
The kinetic energy from ocean currents (tidal or permanent currents) is transformed into electrical power using freely flowing, three-bladed horizontal axis turbines.
Because of their similar physical properties, sea current turbines are similar to wind power turbines. However, since water as their driving medium has an 800 times higher mass density than air, they are equipped with much shorter rotor blades.
In order to meet the special requirements as regards installation and maintenance, the tidal current turbine from Voith differs significantly from a wind turbine in terms of its interior. The system is particularly simple, sturdy and low-maintenance. A deliberate effort was made to avoid using any high-maintenance elements, such as blade angle adjustment, current tracking, gears, dynamic seals, electrical simulation and lubrication of the bearings, etc.
For applications in tidal currents, where the direction of flow is changed every six hours, rotor blades are used which operate from both sides. Thus, the turbine changes the direction of rotation at each tidal change.