Minesto is an industry spin-out from Saab, developing a technology for harvesting electricity from low velocity tidal and ocean currents. The technology has gained global media attention and it was rated as one of the 50 best inventions of 2010 by TIME magazine. The Carbon Trust and the Swedish Energy Agency both show their faith in the technology’s potential through financial support. Following successful ocean trials in 2011, up scaling is now ongoing and the technology will be ready for multi megawatt installations in 2015.
The tidal and ocean current power plant is called Deep Green and due to its unique ability to operate in low current velocities, it opens up resources where no other known technologies are applicable expanding the global potential for marine energy. Deep Green doubles the tidal energy resource in the UK and it has the potential to supply 50% of the electric needs in South Korea. Harvesting electricity from tidal and ocean currents gives increased security of supply through local electricity production from a renewable and predictable energy resource.
Deep Green consists of a wing and a turbine attached to the seabed with a tether. The water current makes the wing move forward while the water flows through the turbine generating electricity. The principle accelerates the water flow through the turbine ten times allowing deployment in areas with low current velocities. This also enables down-sizing of the entire power plant.
Deep Green offers several advantages:
- Possibility to use low current velocities opens up a huge number of suitable sites - Small and light weight construction, less than 7 tons per 0,5MW unit - Low maintenance cost since only attachment and detachment have to be done offshore - Reduced costs for offshore operations since small vessels will be used - Minimal visual and environmental impact since Deep Green always is below the water surface - Predictable electricity production since tidal and ocean currents are extremely regular
Read more at Minesto's web page