Ushant Tidal Energy Project Gets a Data Boost
Sabella, a French tidal and ocean stream turbine developer, partnered with QOS Energy to improve the performance monitoring of its Ushant tidal energy project. The first 1MW tidal turbine is immersed 55 meters underwater off the west coast of France, and it is equipped with more than 100 sensors gathering data every five minutes using QOS Energy’s data intelligence platform to identify, assess and anticipate potential failures.
Sabella’s 1MW D10 turbine was initially commissioned in 2015 in the Fromveur Passage, a strait that lies between Ushant Island and the Molène archipelago, off the coast of the French region of Brittany. After undergoing key technology upgrades, the tidal turbine was redeployed in October 2018. Once again, the 400-tonne machine lies on the French seabed and captures the tide to provide renewable power to the 800 inhabitants of Ushant island. Sabella and QOS partnered to optimize the unit’s operation.
“Operating and maintaining a utility-scale tidal turbine at such depth is particularly challenging, and data collection and analysis plays a vital role in doing so successfully. QOS Energy’s data intelligence platform enables our O&M team to visualize critical KPIs such as water pressure, temperature, swell energy prediction, rotor speed or torque compared to power produced. We need this cutting-edge monitoring capability to be able to fully understand performance, and effectively control potential failures,” said Jean-François Daviau, CEO, Sabella.
If and when tidal turbine technology proves to be a reliable and cost-effective means to generate power, the untapped market is considerable globally, with about 11,000 islands worldwide permanently inhabited by a population in excess of 730 million people in total, most of which rely on diesel-powered technologies to ensure power supply.
Sabella aims to deploy tidal projects in France, as well as in Southeast Asia and North America.