PUBLIC AND PRIVATE R&D
In the public sector, around 15 R&D institutes and universities are involved into developing wave, tidal current and osmotic power mainly in the framework of European research projects. The National funding in the framework of the national energy research programme for renewable energies was approximately €160 million in 2011. This programme is open to ocean energy research. Up to now, six technology projects related to the development of components and concepts for tidal turbines and wave energy components have been funded by the federal Environment Ministry (BMU) with a total amount of around €7 million. For details please see the 2012 country report for Germany.
Former Siemens subsidiary, Marine Current Turbines (MCT), responsible for the yearlong successful operation of the 1.2 MW SeaGen S device at Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland, was sold to Singapore based Atlantis Resources Limited in mid - 2015 after being acquired by Siemens in 2012.
Voith Hydro Ocean Current Technologies, former joint venture of Voith Hydro and Innogy Venture Capital and being behind the testing of the HyTide 1000-16 tidal turbine demonstrator at EMEC in 2013 and 2014, have terminated these activities.
In July 2015, a consortium consisting of SCHOTTEL HYDRO, Fraunhofer IWES, the Institute for Fluid- and Thermodynamics (IFT) at the University of Siegen, Hamburg Ship Model Basin (HSVA) and Potsdam Model Basin (SVA), has started the project “TidalPower”, which will run for three years. The aim of the project is to facilitate the deployment of the first prototype of the semi-submersible tidal power platform “TRITON” at the FORCE tidal research centre at the Bay of Fundy, Canada. The TRITON, developed by SCHOTTEL HYDRO subsidiary TidalStream Ltd., carries 40 SCHOTTEL Instream Turbines, reaching a total nominal power output of 2.5 MW. It will be built and delivered by SCHOTTEL HYDRO subsidiary Black Rock Tidal Power.
The Project “Development and Optimization of a Drive Train for Tidal Current Turbines” by ANDRITZ HYDRO was successfully finished in 2015 after running for more than two and a half years. Details of the project outcome have not been published yet.
The EpoSil (Electro-Active Polymers Based on Silicon for Power Generation) project, conducted by Robert Bosch GmbH, Bosch Rexroth, Wacker Chemie AG, Brinkmeyer & Partner, Technical University of Darmstadt and Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg, ended in early2015. Its aim was to research electro-active polymers for wave power and potentially other applications. An appropriate polymer and a small scale point absorber demonstrator have been developed in the course of the project and being researched at the Hamburg test basin.
The NEMOS GmbH develops a wave energy converter consisting of an elongated floating body, which is
braced by three cables to the ocean floor. Excited by the movement of waves, it transmits mechanical energy to the generator by means of a cable. The generator itself is positioned at the tower of a wind turbine above the sea water level. Since August 2015, the NEMOS 1:5 test device at the Nissum Bredning Test Station for Wave Energy, Denmark, operates in full automatic mode, feeding energy into the grid. In November testing of the first full scale components started at the Institute of Mechanical Handling and Logistics at the University of Stuttgart. In December, a floating service platform
was prepared at the port of Hanstholm, waiting for tow-out in 2016 to be utilized for anchor drag tests and installation works (source: www.nemos.org).
Wave power developer SINN Power GmbH announced in late 2015 that their first wave power module has been successfully installed on the Island of Crete, Greece, and has generated power from ocean waves (source: www.sinnpower.com).
Other German suppliers, such as Bosch Rexroth, Schaeffler, Contitech, Thyssen Krupp, Hunger Hydraulik and Hydac, deliver components and parts for a number of ocean energy devices – for wave as well as tidal turbine technologies mainly in Europe.
Certification companies such as the DNV Gl-Group and consultants are contributing to the technology and project development in the sector. This international collaboration demonstrates the technology export opportunities, which exist in ocean energy for the German industry.