A submerged tidal energy device with contra-rotating Diffuser Augmented Tidal Turbines (DATTs) has been investigated in this paper. The device is moored to the seabed with a single mooring line, which limit it to operate at mean water depth, but otherwise allows it to float freely with the tidal current, like a kite in the wind, to harness tidal current energy. This research focuses on the evaluation of stability and power generation of the submerged tidal energy device based on 1:5th scaled model tests and the full-scaled prototype sea trials.
A 1:5th scaled model had been manufactured and tested in a circulating water channel to observe the power generation performance and working attitude around the designed inflow velocity. A full-scaled prototype was manufactured and tested near the CHU Island in Shandong Province, China. The results show that the device can change its direction automatically to make the DATTs face the tidal inflow, as the tidal current changes direction. The device has a good stability in pitch and roll motions. But the device's stability in yaw motions is worse than the other two, which will significantly affect the power generation performance and introduce more demanding structural requirements.