The story begins in 1941 when Fin Utne, a Norwegian sailor, built a boat which had a wingsail (a solid symmetrical sail, not the traditional fabric) and a tail which was ‘self-trimming’ – something that had never been used on a boat before. Adjusting the small tail controlled the larger sail and new way of sailing was invented. While it did not take off as a sailing concept, (except in a small way with some experimental boats), Theo realised that the idea would be ideal for the Tidal Flyer® system.
“I incorporated the self-trimming tail into the design of Tidal Flyer®, which brought two significant benefits; it was a very efficient control mechanism for the hydrofoils and it doubled the working area of the system by allowing a looped system to be built. This in turn allows for power to be produced on both upstream and downstream lines. The self-trimming tail is the basis of the systems patent. I met Finbarr in 2006 and he saw the potential of Tidal Flyer® and wanted to invest. The rest is history…”
– Theo Devaney, Tidal Flyer® Co-Founder
Each hydrofoil unit in the system can be compared to a simple bi-plane – except with the ‘wings’ spaced further apart to give excellent lift and travelling vertically in the water as opposed to horizontally. As the tide moves through the system, the hydrofoils turn and the system travels around in a loop – generating energy.
The singular technical differentiator of the Tidal Flyer® system is that the tail in each unit is SELF-TRIMMING; this means that the tail is constantly searching for the optimum angle of attack for the hydrofoils and so produces optimum lift. This occurs for all velocities below the rated velocity. In flows where the rated velocity is reached, the SELF-TRIMMING TAIL will then adjust to maintain the rated velocity and thereby maintain an efficient power output.
Because of this simple but smart technology, the system is able to operate in low-flow areas of water. Whereas most horizontal or vertical access turbines require water flows of 6 knots or more – the Tidal Flyer® is able to take advantage of water sites with 4 knot currents.
Key Milestones in the Tidal Flyer Development
ABOUT TIDAL FLYER®
The development of the Tidal Flyer™ system started in 2001, with the original idea – and has rapidly progressed since then. Open Ocean Energy Ltd. was established in 2007 for the purpose of undertaking detailed research and development of the system, and Tidal Flyer Ltd. (trading as Tidal Flyer) acquired Open Ocean Energy in 2018 to bring the technology to market.
Tidal Flyer Ltd. is an Irish research and development company which draws on the experience of its predecessors with over 17 years experience in tidal device development. We are established Domain Experts in Marine Renewable Energy.
Each of our team members brings to the Tidal Flyer® investment opportunity, key expertise and experience and a unique combination of skills:Watch A Video
Please use this form to get in touch!