The judges were impressed by the elegance of these prototype tidal turbines enabling this future tidal farm and the technology to be further developed.
Sitting in up to 50m of fast-flowing turbulent sea, with waves of around 15m, clearly presents uniquely extreme design conditions. To ensure 25 years of maintenance-free structure necessitated close collaboration between construction and scientific disciplines. In addition, the more ‘typical’ challenges of strength, short 40-minute construction windows, variable seabed surfaces, multi-directional currents and ever-changing orientation highlights the unique combination of challenges tackled in this project.
To solve these challenges without fixed foundations highlights the care and passion applied to the structural design. A minimalist, low-profile support structure with articulated feet not only satisfies the extreme challenges but also does so efficiently. The solution also minimises the use of material, construction costs and environmental impact on the seabed.
It is evident to the judges that the engineers involved worked hard to develop this world-first successful test from concept through to full-scale prototype, producing a structure of which they can be proud.