Institute for Energy Transition
dedicated to Marine Renewable Energies
Know more


Effective lifetime extension in the marine environment for tidal energy

Duration: 3 years


Tidal turbines are designed to withstand the maximum loads they can expect to experience during their operational lifetime, including peak loads and fatigue. Fatigue loads arise from turbulence and wave action. High peak and fatigue loads, combined with uncertainty in load modelling, leads to conservative designs; expensive, heavy devices; and resultant high transport and deployment costs (high CAPEX).
During operation, fatigue and peak loads contribute to wear and tear on a device; this reduces device reliability, availability, efficiency and lifetime, and increases operational costs (OPEX). Improved control of turbines to reduce damaging loads will improve device reliability and extend the lifetime of components, leading to reduced OPEX. In addition, improved control and a better understanding of the resource and the turbine response can be used to optimise performance to increase device yield.
Artificial Intelligence has already been successfully deployed in the mature wind industry to deliver significant commercial benefits by allowing turbines to adapt continually to changing conditions.


To use artificial intelligence to improve tidal turbine performance and accelerate commercialisation of tidal energy.

Expected results

  • Optimisation of the control system of a tidal turbine to reduce predicted loads
  • Using improved understanding of turbine behaviour to maximise energy yield
  • Optimising tidal turbine design for world-leading improved performance and reduced cost
  • Development and demonstration of an adaptable control system technology with a wide range of applications
  • Minimisation environmental impacts by integrating environmental monitoring into the control system
  • Increasing resilience of tidal turbines to the marine environment and extend their lifetimes
  • Maximising shared learning between relevant EU projects
  • Improving the knowledge base regarding impacts of tidal energy on local communities
  • Increasing public support for tidal energy projects

Scientific contents

  • Integration of the state-of-the-art technology from the tidal and wind energy sectors
  • Demonstration of a prototype system using onshore bench-testing, tow testing, and in-sea deployment at two real tidal sites
  • Demonstration on subsea and floating devices, with geared and direct-drive drive trains
  • Environmental and socioeconomic assessment of tidal energy at a regional, national and EU level
  • Independent verification of project results


Leader: Nova Innovation

ELEMENT project partners


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement number 815180.

Logo de l'Union européenne