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Recommendations on the Structural Testing Requirements for Tidal Stream Blades

Date: November 05, 2013 at 15:19 GMT

The blades of a tidal stream turbine are a vital component in the overall system for converting the kinetic energy of moving water into electrical power. Mechanically testing blades, to validate performance, is prudent and is undertaken within the wind industry by a small number of dedicated test facilities in Europe. Narec has tested many wind turbine blades in recent years, so it was natural to consider transferring this skill-set to tests for the tidal sector. An in-house evaluation was undertaken in 2011 to ascertain the viability and practical implications of transferring these large scale test capabilities to testing tidal blades. This paper discusses the outcome of these trials and their wider implications. A range of technical solutions for testing the structural performance of tidal blades is considered and best practise recommendations are made. 

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