EU project uses AI to boost turbine performance and efficiency


A major new European tidal energy project will use artificial intelligence (AI) to help improve turbine performance and acceleration the commercialisation of tidal power.

The project, called ELEMENT is led by Scotland-based Nova Innovation, and has the goal of cutting the lifetime cost of energy by 17%.

Other organisations that make up the consortium include IDETA, Chantier Bretagne Sud, Innosea, Wood, Nortek AS, University of Strathclyde, DNV GL UK, France Energies Marines, Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and ABB UK

The project, valued at €5 million project will commence in June 2019, and will include AI technology born in the wind energy industry in the wave-energy turbines, to deliver an adaptive control system to improve performance.

According to Nova Innovation, AI technology has been successful in the wind energy sector in recent years. The technology allows for turbines to be adapted continually to changing conditions, thereby generating significant commercial benefits.

Simon Forrest, CEO of Nova Innovation said: “Reliable tidal energy generation is now a reality. It is no longer a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ the technology becomes mainstream. The sector has taken great strides forward in recent years and our drive is now to reduce cost to compete with conventional generation.

“Fortunately for our industry, many cost reduction techniques have already been demonstrated in established renewable technologies, such as offshore wind. By capturing this knowledge, we can reduce the costs of tidal energy more quickly by piggybacking on their technological advances.”

The project was awarded a contract from Europe’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.