Blue Energy Canada is commercializing the Davis Hydro Turbine, able to generate high-density renewable and emission-free electricity from ocean currents and tides at prices competitive with the cheapest conventional sources of energy today. Preliminary findings indicate that ocean current energy is one of the largest untapped power sources on the planet, capable of supplying both small and large-scale electricity to virtually every ocean bordering nation. The Davis Hydro Turbine, according to the company, is a technological breakthrough that can be compared in design and output to an ultra-efficient underwater windmill.
Four fixed hydrofoil blades of the Davis Turbine are connected to a rotor that drives an integrated gearbox and electrical generator assembly. The turbine is mounted in a concrete marine caisson, which anchors the unit to the ocean floor, directs the water flow through the turbine and supports the coupler, gearbox, and generator above. The hydrofoil blades employ a hydrodynamic lift principle that causes the turbine foils to move proportionately faster than the speed of the surrounding water. Computer optimized cross-flow design ensure that the rotation of the turbine is unidirectional on both the ebb and the flow of the tide.
BEC is pursuing the development of a 500kW pre-commercial demonstration project off the coast of British Columbia, Canada.
The project will be comprised of two ‘Mid-Range’ 250kW turbine units, which will convert the flow of ocean currents to emission-free electricity. It will demonstrate the integration of BEC's ocean energy system with a hydrogen fuel cell. Surplus electricity generated from the Davis Hydro Turbines during peak tidal flow will be used to produce hydrogen through electrolysis, to establish the foundation for further integration of renewable energy and hydrogen technologies.