Whit the aim to exploit tidal currents as clean, predictable and renewable energy source, the authors have developed a self - balancing turbine prototype, able to work like a kite and moored to the shore by a simple rope.
In the present work, the authors describe how this particular machine could be used in array configuration. First step involved the technical definition and the performances assessment of the array, constituted by several turbines connected each other by tubular elements and floating deflectors. Such a layout allows the array to have an “accordion effect” by extending and gathering it-self, according with the phases of flow and slack tide.
Through an economic model the optimal number and diameter of the turbines has been successively detected which, maintaining the same power of other configurations, minimizes installation costs.
Finally, the proposed methodology has been applied at a particular site (Strait of Messina - Italy), where the yearly energy yield and the levelized cost of energy have been evaluated.