Testing Begins for Tidal Power Prototype

July 8, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] A prototype of a new turbine for generating tidal energy that will undergo sea trials this July 2003 in shallow water in Orkney, Scotland. The device, called SNAIL, has been christened “Brian” by its inventor Professor Ian Bryden of The Robert Gordon University, an expert on tidal energy. The 20 meter prototype will be launched from Hatston Pier in Orkney and will undergo sea trials during the summer to test the theory of the technology. Tidal currents offer a substantial and predictable source of renewable energy At present the potential to use tidal energy is limited by installation methods for turbines, which require firm attachment to the seabed. This is very expensive and, at present, requires turbines to be placed in water depths greater than 25 meters and less than 50 meters. The full size SNAIL is a prefabricated tidal device that can be cheaply installed in shallow and deep water, which will significantly increase the number of suitable sites for turbines and reduce installation costs, said the developers.