Marine Current Turbines to Install Ocean Generator

September 03, 2002 by Jeff Shepard

Marine Current Turbines Ltd. (MCT, Chineham, Hampshire, UK) is preparing to install a 300kW prototype of its marine current turbine. The company hopes to complete installation and start testing by late October 2002. The 300kW prototype will be followed by a commercial model rated at 700kW. The second phase of the company's plan is to develop a 4MW array of turbines with commercial production in 2005.

The MCT turbines consist of twin axial rotors 20m in diameter, mounted on a tubular steel monopile drilled into the ocean bed. The unit is connected to shore by a marine cable lying on the seabed. The submerged turbines will be grouped in arrays where there is a high current, and the technology is modular to allow machines to be installed with minimal financing. Peak spring tide velocities of 2m/s to 2.5m/s (4 to 5 knots) are required, with depths of 20m to 35m.