INTERREG Baltic Sea Region: German university is looking for industry, NGOs and regulatory authorities from BSR to develop innovative water turbines

Research & Development Request
Request Date:
A German, Polish and Norwegian consortium is developing an INTERREG application for the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) to build a partnership for a pilot project on developing water turbines, namely river and tidal turbines that are adapted to the needs of the BSR. The body is looking for national or regional companies, NGOs and regulatory authorities from the BSR as partners. The leadership is located at a university from Berlin.

The project aim is to develop innovative water turbines that could be adapted to the special conditions of the BSR. Tidal and river turbines are low head water turbines that operate by lift forces. Compared to other renewable energy sources, the state of this turbine technology is thus young but attracted attention during the last years. Most of these projects focus on large machineries with diameters of up to 20 m using high flow velocities. This is simply due to the reason that this is right now most profitable, but the result is that only a few areas of EU are preferable for the developed turbines and ignores other locations of the EU. However, the technology is not limited to specific sizes or the need of high flow velocities, moreover, there were not yet any developments to adjust tidal and river turbines to lower flow velocities and make them suitable to other areas like for example the Baltic Sea Region.

The project proposal focuses on tidal and river turbines of small sizes that address the need of the BSR. This is in technical terms a small flow velocity but further influenced by the specific side conditions of the BSR. It is the idea to develop a small turbine (rotor diameter not larger than 2 m) that can be either used as river turbine or as tidal turbine. The project conducts the approach of “keeping it simple” for the design to guarantee an easy maintenance and long life time.

The project focuses on the fluid flow machinery, information technologies and generator. On the other side there is also a social and environmental aspect of the project. Questions like the social acceptance of these machines as well as their environmental impact will be included in the project proposal. Work on regulations and legislations should also be part of the project as there are unsolved issues concerning the installation and operation of this technology. Therefore, the project tackles the gap of an unused renewable energy resource of the BSR and serves as an interface for different target groups related to renewable energy technologies.

The consortium is seeking for different kinds of partner. They are looking for companies, able to manufacture the turbine components and implement the new technology in their manufacturing process. NGOs and regulatory authorities from the BSR can also join the consortium to support the work on regulations in the field of environmental aspects.

The project activities respond to the specific challenges described in the INTERREG BSR program, priority 2 with the specific objective 2.2 ‘Renewable energy'.

The consortium is looking only for partner from the BSR Region.

The call deadline for the first concept stage will be published by begin of 2017. New partners are still welcome. Moreover, after the first step application partner can still join the consortium till August 2017 to participate in the second application round.
The advantages and innovations of the project are: - opens a new renewable energy source for the BSR - a new technology of stream turbines for small flow velocities that is not yet available - can be either used as river turbine or tidal turbine - definition of side locations in the BSR that are not yet available; concerns maps of flow velocity, water depths, maritime routes and nature protection areas - contributes to future regulations and legislations concerning this new technology that are not yet available
The project duration will be approximately 2.5 years (30 months).


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