First Equipment Deployed and Retrieved from Cape Cod Canal Tidal Turbine Test Site

BUZZARDS BAY – The Marine Renewable Energy Collaborative’s new tidal turbine test site in the Cape Cod Canal has finished the first successful test and retrieval of equipment.

Researchers with the University of Rhode Island concluded a 30-day test of an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler which collected data on the velocity of the water traveling through the site.

The high resolution data will be analyzed to project energy power output from the water.

Collaborative Communications Manager Maggie Merrill said the test was important to provide baseline data for future equipment.

“Tidal developers want to know that because they are going to be putting their turbines in, and [they’ll] see how well their turbines perform against that baseline,” Merrill said.

Merrill says the successful deployment and retrieval also lets energy developers know their turbines, parts and sensors will be safe underwater.

“This deployment and then the successful retrieval of the instrument shows that we can actually get something in the water and out of the water and that we are demonstrating our know how and capabilities at that site,” she said.

The test site is available for developers to test small tidal turbines, their components, underwater sensors or systems, along with metal and corrosion testing.

“Cape Cod and southeastern New England have a lot of companies that design and manufacture very sophisticated underwater technology and they may in fact find it useful to put their equipment out and test it in the marine environment at that site,” Merrill said.

The test site will be able to test turbines up to 3 meters, or 10 feet, in diameter and will help developers save money by not having to build their own facilities.

The Collaborative will eventually push out data to science, technology, math and engineering, or STEM, students who will be learning and focusing their efforts on tidal energy.

The site was constructed in November near the railroad bridge in Buzzards Bay.

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