Demand driven research & development

In this programme, research institutes and SMEs work together to accelerate further demonstration and expansion of marine energy technologies developed by those SMEs. The programme will focus on the development of products as well as the development of tools that facilitate the implementation of these products.

Product Development 1: Tocardo - Hydro elastic rotor bladesProduct development 1: Hydro elastic rotor blades

Partners involved: Tocardo International B.V. and Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN)

Tocardo International B.V. ( develops tidal turbines. The main challenge for Tocardo is to lower the cost of turbines and increase their reliability. An important control system is the so-called blade angle adjustment. This is necessary in order to keep the play of forces on the rotor blades within the limits with increasing flow velocity. Tocardo is searching for an innovative solution: hydro-elasticity, which is the passively elastic deformation of the blade as a result of pressure. The development of these hydro-elastic blades will be a great competitive advantage for Tocardo due to improved yield prediction, increased reliability, reduced material consumption and higher turbine output. This would effect in an increase in the market for Tocardo's products.



Product Development 2 Blue Energy Afsluitdijk REDstackProduct development 2: Robust filtration system blue energy

Partners involved: REDstack B.V., Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), Wetsus

REDstack B.V. ( is developing a technology which produces electricity from the difference in the salt concentration of two water streams on the basis of so-called Reverse Electro Dialysis (RED). Producing electricity with this technology requires relatively large amounts of salt and fresh surface water. This water contains significant amounts of organisms and suspended matter. If this is captured in the installation, it leads to blockage and biofouling. In order to avoid this, an effective filtration system for the ingoing water stream is needed. This activity includes a measuring programme in the pilot plant of REDstack on the Afsluitdijk, whereby the effectiveness and the cost of the filtration system is examined, depending on the composition (organic and inorganic substances) of both the salt and fresh water intake. Through this activity, a cost-efficient filtration system can be designed (with minimal energy consumption).


Product Development 3 biofouling NIOZProduct development 3: New materials against fouling (biofouling)

Partners involved: Fishflow Innovations B.V. and Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ)

For each project focusing on extracting energy from marine sources, the growth of shellfish and/or algae on equipment is a significant problem. The efficiency of turbines and the accuracy of measuring equipment or effectiveness of lamps on fish migration are affected by this growth. Cleaning costs involve high maintenance costs. Within this activity Fishflow Innovations B.V. ( will research new materials on which no growth occurs. In addition, they examine whether the currently used materials could be treated to make them less sensitive or insensitive to fouling by shellfish and/or algae.




Product Development 4 RONAMICProduct development 4: Hydrostatic low head turbine

Partners involved: RONAMIC B.V., Deltares and Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN)

RONAMIC B.V. ( developed the proof of principle for a technology that utilizes a combination of a hydrostatic low head turbine, a wave energy converter and a wind turbine (triple source of energy). At the heart of this integrated system lies a hydrostatic low head turbine which will be the object of the upcoming product development activities. In the previous period, two-dimensional (2D) CFD (computational fluid dynamics) analyses of the turbine technology were carried out. The obtained results are convincing enough to proceed with a 3D CFD analysis as part of an overall technical and economic research and development plan. The ultimate goal for these product development activities is to develop and optimise the hydrostatic low head turbine through an iterative process. This turbine should thus lead to sufficient interest of potential investors to enable the further development and commercialisation of the system.


Product Development 5 Symphony Teamwork TechnologyProduct development 5: Wave Energy Converter

Partners involved: Teamwork Technology B.V., Deltares and Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN)

Teamwork Technology B.V. ( develops Symphony, a new Wave Energy Converter. Symphony is the successor of the Archimedes Wave Swing (AWS) wave generator developed during the period 1994 – 2003. Symphony consists of two breakthrough components, a multifunctional membrane and a novel turbine. It is expected that the combination of the components and a high internal working pressure results in higher reliability and lower capital costs with equal conversion efficiency compared to the original AWS concept. Testing a 1.5m diameter model has to confirm this, and will also make it possible to develop and validate a simulation model of the system. This simulation is of great importance in order to optimize the performance of the system at relatively low costs.



Product Development 6 Turbine FishFlowProduct development 6: Free-flow hydro turbine

Partners involved: Teamwork Technology B.V., Deltares and Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN)

FishFlow Innovations B.V. ( aims to develop a free-flow turbine with a 7.5m diameter which is embedded in a concrete foundation on the sea floor (gravity based). This turbine should be both low noise and fish friendly and should withstand rough offshore conditions. FishFlow Innovations has already developed a first prototype of this turbine, which will be equipped with a composite impeller. The next step is to demonstrate the prototype. A suitable location seems to be on the Afsluitdijk. The Tidal Testing Centre has permits from Dutch Marine Energy Centre to carry out such a test. On the basis of practical measurements and simulation calculations by one of the research institutes connected to DMEC, improvement of the structural design and energy conversion efficiency will be determined. In addition, fish friendliness and noise output will be measured.


Dutch Marine Energy Tool 1 CFD model turbines Delates TocardoTool development 1: hydrodynamics measurement

Partner involved: Deltares

This Deltares project involves the development of a tool for hydrodynamics/water movement, with a linkage of models both near and far afield. Applications of the tool are the optimisation of energy generation at a dam, the minimisation of environmental impacts and the provision of input for turbine design tools (flow, velocity gradients, turbulence and waves). This tool will facilitate the implementation of products of SMEs.







Dutch Marine Energy Tool 2 ECN DMETool development 2: operations and maintenance measurement

Partner involved: Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN)

The costs of the operational phase of tidal energy projects are dominated by preventative and unscheduled maintenance. In the past ECN has developed an Operation and Maintenance (O&M) tool for the offshore wind industry to determine the maintenance strategy in the preliminary design phase of wind farms. This tool has set the standard in the wind industry and will be adapted for use in the tidal energy industry in the DMEC project. To maximize the impact of the DMEC project, the software must be able to manage different types of (tidal) energy converters.







Dutch Marine Energy Tool 3 Migratiemogelijkheden door spuisluizen Deltares ImaresTool development 3: evaluation of environmental effects

Partners involved: Deltares, Institute for Marine Resources & Ecosystem Studies (IMARES), the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), and the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO)

Power generation in aquatic environments is subject to various laws and regulations. The Oosterschelde and the Waddenzee have been identified as Natura2000 areas. The Marine Strategy Framework Directive described that any European Member State should develop a marine strategy. This strategy aims to protect, preserve and restore the marine environment (good environmental status of the North Sea) while achieving a sustainable use of the North Sea. The tool will further research areas where far-field effects are expected (i.e. effects affecting the entire ecosystem), with organisms relating to a specific protected status under conservation guidelines or with a huge public impact.




Tool development 4: business model for energy producing water defences

Partners involved: Erasmus University Rotterdam

The knowledge about the governance model for the development and operation of energy producing water defences will be validated and targeted to SMEs. Validation and targeting includes the following activities: 1) development of an assessment tool for mapping the governance capacity of a DMEC project initiative, 2) development of a format for the formulation of asset management strategies and 3) the development of a format for the preparation of hybrid business cases.