Air turbine innovation is considered as one of the most promising cost-reduction pathways for OWC wave energy devices and the OPERA project specifically aims at validating and de-risking a novel biradial turbine prototype. This prototype is already manufactured and in the final assembly stage prior to PTO dry-testing at the turbo-machinery laboratory in IST.
The biradial turbine is supplied by Kymaner and is based on a patented concept (European patent 11710901.7).
The biradial turbine-generator set aims to increase OWC turbine annual mean efficiency by 50% and improve the reliability of the PTO in comparison with the most frequently used options.
One of the key components of this novel turbine is the High Speed Safety Valve (HSSV), integrated in the structure and capable of performing the dual function of latching control – another of the innovations featured in the OPERA project – and safety, protecting the turbine from being damaged by over speeding, in case of stormy conditions at sea.
As the open sea validation of the PTO will be done in the Mutriku wave power plant and later on this year at BiMEP, particular attention has been devoted to the design of special interfacing solutions that make it straightforward the adaptation to the different validation platforms.