NTU and Sentosa launch Singapore's first tidal turbine system at Sentosa Boardwalk

Nov 07, 2013
This is a floating test-bed for NTU's new tidal turbines at Sentosa. Credit: Nanyang Technological University

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has built Singapore's first tidal turbine system to test the viability of tapping tidal energy to generate electricity here.

The new , set up in collaboration with the Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC), was designed, built and installed by NTU engineers from the Energy Research Institute at NTU (ERI@N).

Tidal energy is a completely new field in Singapore. Its key advantage as a source is that tidal cycles are predictable, unlike conventional wind and solar energy, which are highly susceptible to weather fluctuations.

The NTU tidal turbine system consists of two low-flow turbines mounted on the test bed, optimised for local conditions. Compared to typical turbines, these specially designed prototypes are able to work at higher efficiency despite low water speeds, similar to those found in Singapore's waters.

This new test bed is expected to open up new research avenues for renewable energy, especially for resource-scarce countries such as Singapore. The research data gathered will allow NTU to develop more innovative turbine concepts to cater to Singapore's environment and beyond.

This is the NTU-designed low-flow turbine blade for the tropics and waters around Singapore. Credit: Nanyang Technological University

In the next year of operation, the tidal energy test bed will demonstrate how low-flow tidal energy can be harnessed efficiently, and made cheaper and more reliable. The energy produced by the test bed is used to also power the lights at the Sentosa Boardwalk Turbine Exhibit. Open to the public, the informative exhibition which is part of the Sentosa Sustainability Plan, will have information about tidal energy and showcases a miniature tidal turbine prototype.

Mr Mike Barclay, Chief Executive Officer of SDC, said: "Sentosa is deeply committed to promoting sustainable tourism. One key aspect of our commitment is to open up Sentosa as a test-bed for new green initiatives and technologies, particularly those that can be scaled up for wider adoption across Singapore. This collaboration with NTU has been an exciting project, as it has demonstrated the potential of as an alternative energy source."

Professor Subodh Mhaisalkar, Executive Director of ERI@N, said investment in such emerging technologies is a demonstration of Singapore's commitment to explore renewable energy options, much like how the country has developed its renowned expertise in water technologies.

"Apart from proving that is feasible in Singapore, the test bed will also provide important research data on how the turbine handles local low-flow currents and the tropical marine environment," Prof Mhaisalkar said. "More importantly, the data will allow us to improve our designs for future turbine systems, leading to new avenues of renewable energy in resource-scarce countries such as Singapore."

The two turbines installed at the test bed extracts energy from tidal currents to generate up to a thousand watts of per hour combined, which could power about 70 fluorescent light bulbs (15 watts per bulb) typically found in households.

The Sentosa Boardwalk is an ideal location for a tidal power test bed, as it has high tidal currents several locations near the Boardwalk, due to concrete pillars at the adjacent bridge which funnel water into a narrow channel and amplifies water speed.

This scalable test bed at Sentosa allows for the installation of multiple turbines and will be used by NTU to assess newer and more innovative turbine concepts.

Explore further: Intel wireless charging in a bowl coming sooner than later

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Scotland passes turbine test to harness tidal power

May 20, 2012

(Phys.org) -- An underwater turbine being used for harnessing tidal power to generate electricity for homes and businesses has successfully completed its testing period in the island of Eday, one of Orkney’s ...

Trials for Singapore's first driverless vehicle

Aug 16, 2013

Singapore's first clean and green driverless shuttle transportation system will soon see passengers shuttling between Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and JTC Corporation's (JTC) CleanTech Park.

Oxford turbines to harvest energy from tides

Sep 10, 2008

Oxford researchers have developed a new tidal turbine which has the potential to harness tidal energy more efficiently and cheaply, using a device which is simpler and more robust and scaleable than current ...

Harnessing tidal energy

Oct 26, 2010

A new company, Kepler Energy Limited, has been formed to develop a tidal turbine which has the potential to harness tidal energy more efficiently and cheaply, using a device which is simpler, more robust and ...

Tidal power plant proposed for New York's East River

Jan 11, 2011

Here's exciting news for anyone who's been watching the fledgling efforts to promote tidal power in the U.S.: A New York energy company that has been testing tidal power in the East River has filed a formal application ...

New research to support the huge potential of tidal power

Jan 17, 2013

(Phys.org)—New research from a global group of scientists and engineers, including from the University of Southampton, has been published in a special issue journal of the Royal Society. The work is in support of tidal ...

Recommended for you

Team improves solar-cell efficiency

Sep 19, 2014

New light has been shed on solar power generation using devices made with polymers, thanks to a collaboration between scientists in the University of Chicago's chemistry department, the Institute for Molecular ...

Calif. teachers fund to boost clean energy bets

Sep 19, 2014

The California State Teachers' Retirement System says it plans to increase its investments in clean energy and technology to $3.7 billion, from $1.4 billion, over the next five years.

Idealistic Norwegian sun trappers

Sep 19, 2014

The typical Norwegian owner of a solar heating system is a resourceful man in his mid-fifties. He is technically skilled, interested in energy systems, and wants to save money and protect the environment.

User comments : 0