Eco Innovator March 2012


Atlantis Commits to Testing Program

Marine energy developer Atlantis Resources Corporation has set out its plans for continued investment in technology development and commercialization during 2012.

Atlantis will continue its AR1000 tidal turbine testing program at the National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) in Blyth, UK. The company's AR1000 nacelle was retrieved from its test berth at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney in late November, following successful open ocean testing. It will be transported to Blyth for preparation ahead of the spring opening of Narec's 3 MW capacity turbine drive train testing facility.

The independent onshore facility has been developed to de-risk in-field activities, and conduct reliability and performance appraisals of new devices and system components through accelerated lifetime testing.

Atlantis said its shareholders have committed to a continued program of investment in technology development in 2012. The company has engaged Lockheed Martin to complete a design analysis of its technology platform and expects this to lead to the integration of some design amendments and system upgrades as it builds towards final commercial specifications for customer delivery.

Atlantis also wants to grow its team by recruiting the brightest minds from related industries to work with customers on the delivery of systems for their site specifications. It expects to bring in new recruits into key engineering and procurement positions over the year.

Chief executive, Tim Cornelius, said "The move to Narec's test rig provides the centrepiece for another busy year of technical development as we move closer to customer delivery. Our engineers and technology partners will verify and build on the valuable testing data from EMEC, culminating in design upgrades on the existing AR technology platform.

"We will be looking to further invest in people, partners and projects during 2012 so that we can continue to provide commercial solutions to the problems faced by our customers. This year, we will award some of our largest contracts yet to develop the current technology platform, incorporate lessons learned, collect additional field data and improve modeling techniques.

"We will also invest in the tidal energy supply chain, from more complex resource analysis and array interaction research through to drive train and cable management system design, nacelle monitoring, control and intervention technologies, coating technologies and subsea connection.

The company said its 1 MW AR1000 turbine is in excellent structural condition and it expects to undertake planned modifications followed by testing at the new Narec test facility. The test program will give data on nacelle efficiency, control system validation and thermal analysis of major nacelle components, as well as test the system integrity of the modifications.

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The AR series turbines are commercial scale Horizontal Axis Turbines for open ocean deployment.

The controlled environment will allow Atlantis to focus on the most demanding operating conditions, accrue more data in a shorter period of time, and observe individual components under load and simulated operating conditions.

On completion the turbine will return to Orkney. Atlantis holds a berth at EMEC until 2015. The company's 2011 open ocean testing program at EMEC achieved material progress in offshore subsea connection operations, turbine energization, structural loading data and converter synchronization to the Scottish Grid via EMEC's Eday substation.

The AR1000 was energized in last May, the converters were synchronized to the grid in June and first power was generated to grid in July. But Atlantis experienced some developmental engineering issues from the commissioning program. This included the identification of a non-redundant medium voltage component within the AR1000 circuit which prevented further production of electricity to the grid. Crucially, the medium voltage system functioned as intended and no fault levels were transposed to the external power export system at EMEC.

Atlantis says that together with its partners it is developing some of the world's first tidal power generation sites, including in the Pentland Firth, Scotland, the gulfs of Khambhat and Kutch in Gujarat, India, and at the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy, Nova Scotia.

Atlantis began in Australia and is now an international marine energy company with offices in London, Singapore and Sydney. Its shareholders include Morgan Stanley, Statkraft and EDBi. Its technical advisors include Lockheed Martin, Soil Marine Dynamics and Isleburn Engineering.





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