Jul 25 2012

Types of Devices

Published by

Types of Tidal Current Devices

Once an adequate location has been selected, it’s time to choose the right current tidal energy mechanism that suits the specific characteristics of the site. There are three main types of current energy harvesting turbines:

  • Axial Turbines: extracts energy flowing along the axis of rotation—horizontal to the seafloor; most efficient and cost effective according to MCT (Riddell, 2008).  Imagine an underwater wind turbine turning like a carousel with the current.  Axial turbines may have either a vertical or a horizontal axis in which the energy


  • Oscillating Hydrofoils: centered on a single point of rotation; a “hydroplane” attached to a support arm is pushed up and down by water flow, this movement turns hydraulic cylinders that then power a generator (Elghali, 2009).
  • Cross-flow Turbines: extracts energy flowing perpendicular to the axis of rotation; vertical rotor helps to avoid counterproductive torque forces by transmitting them straight to the surface; beneficial because it gathers energy from EVERY direction—front, back, up, down— known as the “full tidal ellipse” (Elghali, 2009)





Ben Elghali, S. E., M. E. H. Benbouzid, and J. F. Charpentier. “Marine Tidal Current Electric Power Generation Technology – A Review.” Electromotion 16.3 (2009): 155-168. Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 July 2012.


Riddell, Rose. “Turning Tides [Tidal Power Technology].” Engineering & Technology (17509637) 3.16 (2008): 46-49.Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 July 2012.

3 responses so far

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.