Institute for Energy Transition
dedicated to Marine Renewable Energies


Multi-scaled approaches at two tidal sites

Duration: 18 months


In-stream tidal turbines are among the most advanced Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) technologies. The lack of knowledge of fluid loadings characteristics at different tidal sites results in certain limitations in the methodology used for fatigue estimation for moving components such as blades and rotors. Nevertheless, fatigue life prediction is a critical parameter impacting the global levelized cost of energy (LCOE), and in particular drives operational and maintenance strategies. Indeed, an accurate prediction of component life expectancy is needed to complete a table of expected maintenance operations.
From this table a feedback loop may be applied to component design in order to optimize the necessary maintenance operations and their high related costs by synchronizing the replacement timing of different components. Similarly, the structural definition of each component may be revised accordingly and new materials
integrated if the predicted durability is insufficient. Consequently, the accuracy of fatigue prediction represents a critical issue in tidal turbine deployment.


To improve the identification of complex fluid loads in an open tidal power environment (waves + current) in order to improve performance prediction and fatigue dimensioning optimisation of mobile components.

Scientific content

  • Description of flow dynamics at two high potential tidal power sites (Alderney Race and Bay of Fundy in Canada).
  • Proposal of formulations to take into account fluctuating hydrodynamic loads used in fatigue calculations.
  • Improvement of digital models to accurately simulate complex flows.
  • Proposal of recommendations in relation to the specifications for tank tests.


Les partenaires du projet MUSCATTS

This project is funded by France Energies Marines and the Région Bretagne.