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Institut polytechnique de Grenoble

Grenoble Institute of Engineering
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Tidal turbines in rivers and at sea



HydroQuest, a company created in 2010, has developed a range of tidal turbines able to produce electricity using the hydrokinetic energy from river, estuary and marine currents. HydroQuest’s technology is developed in partnership with EDF, Grenoble - INP and CNRS and is protected by several international patents. This technology results from more than a decade of research carried out by four laboratories specialised in hydroelectricity. HydroQuest’s river tidal turbine is not composed of a propeller like most other tidal turbines but of two vertical-axis turbine columns. “We imagined a modular system that can stack one to three turbines on each of the two vertical axes that can be adjusted to varying depths, pointed out Jean-François Simon, managing director of HydroQuest. It is a simple and robust system used to obtain excellent economic profitability”. River tidal turbines with a unit power of a few dozen kilowatts are sold in farms whose total power will increase from a few hundred kilowatts to 1 or 2 Megawatts. The company has already installed machines on several sites in Grenoble, French Guyana, and Orléans. “The global market is assessed at 15 billion euros for the next ten years”. After the river tidal turbine market, HydroQuest will focus on marine turbines. The company has just signed a partnership agreement with Constructions Mécaniques de Normandie (CMN), one of the main French shipyards, located in Cherbourg, to develop marine turbine farms across the world. In conjunction with the Valorem group, CMN and HydroQuest have responded to a call for expressions of interest from Ademe with the aim of installing a pilot farm of ten 1.3-MW tidal turbines in the Raz Blanchard zone, for a total installed power of 13 MW.
An initial demonstrator will be used to carry out tests from 2015 in order to validate the advantages of the technology: modularity, resistance and exceptional profitability for this type of installation.


Date of update November 27, 2014

Univ. Grenoble Alpes