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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Design and application of a horizontal-axis tidal stream turbine

Panagiotis Dimitrakopoulos

Design and application of a horizontal-axis tidal stream turbine

The present work was dedicated to the design and application of a horizontal-axis tidal stream turbine (HATST). The investigation was initiated by a brief site selection investigation which showed that the most suitable sites for initial development in the UK lie in the South-West. At a future stage, when technological advances reduce costs, focus should be directed to the Orkney Island region. Analysis of hourly time series of tidal velocity data from 5 UK locations of different resource potential for year 2003 confirmed that sites with higher average spring tide peak velocities will result in higher power yields and capacity factors. The latter are expected to range from 55 to 70 percent, also depending on the rating of the machines. A brief design exercise showed that HATSTs will be similar to offshore wind turbines both in terms of technology and in terms of the associated costs, and can therefore share manufacturing, installation, and maintenance & repair infrastructure. Finally, conceptual drawings of a HATST were produced to depict the anticipated form of such devices.

Course Overview


The need to engage in better problem definition through careful dialogue with all stakeholder groups and a proper recognition of context.


An ability to work with specialists from other disciplines and professional groups acknowledging that technical innovation and business skills also must be understood, nurtured and combined as precursors to the successful implementation of sustainable solutions.


An understanding of mechanisms for managing change in organisations so future engineers are equipped to play a leadership role.


An awareness of a range of assessment frameworks, sustainability metrics and methodologies such as Life Cycle Analysis, Systems Dynamics, Multi-Criteria Decision making and Impact Assessment.