Improved magnets for energy generation through advanced tidal technology
MAGNETIDE is a completed FP7 collaborative R&D project that was funded by the 7th Framework Programme (FP7) of the European Union. The project consortium consisted of three small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and four research and technology development organisations (RTOs). The project was led by ATARD, one the SMEs.
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The 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Developments is one of the funding mechanisms that mean to make the EU "the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion" (according to the Lisbon European Council 23 and 24 March Presidency Conclusion). The programme has a total budget of over € 50 billion and runs from 2007 – 2013. This reflects the importance placed on high technology research in Europe. FP7 is a key tool to respond to Europe's needs in terms of jobs, competitiveness and maintaining leadership in global knowledge and technology.
Today, European citizens are well aware of projected energy shortfalls and growing interest in renewable and sustainable energy sources has led to increased interest in tidal energy power as a solution. Tidal Sails, one of the SME partners in Magnetide, is developing a highly competitive and efficient tidal energy generator. This is where the MAGNETIDE project outputs could play a key role.
The objective of MAGNETIDE was to develop magnetic materials specifically designed for tidal energy capture systems. These generators need to be efficient at low rpm and able to cope with rapidly varying rpm inputs. Today, tidal energy concepts are demonstrated using adapted wind turbine generators, or other types of generators. Fundamentally, this decreases efficiency and reliability. Mainstream adoption of marine renewable power has been hampered by the lack of a purpose-designed and directly compatible gearless generator, unlike wind power which has found much greater adoption.