Ultrasonic prevention and removal of biofouling from marine electricity generators
Micro-organisms form a biofilm almost immediately upon submersion of the component. Macro-organisms attracted to this new food source, then successively larger organisms build up layers on the component. Marine growth attaches to propellers and turbines, attaching to the surface almost immediately. This can cause efficiency losses of more than 40 per cent. Tidal generators will be more successful if their turbines are more efficient; for this they must be free from biofouling.
Excite vulnerable areas of turbines with ultrasonic vibrations; deter microorganisms from attaching to the surface; prevent larger organisms (eg barnacles) from attaching.
This project was co-funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.