R&D projects

Innovation and reliability

SABELLA is involved into different collaborative projects aiming to improve the reliability of the technology through innovation that will lead to the development of a tidal energy industry.

Monitor – Multi-model investigation of tidal energy converter reliability

The MONITOR project investigates the reliability of tidal energy converters (TECs), using a range of numerical and experimental methods with the aim of developing generic tools that will help TEC developers improve their device reliability.

The project partners will identify critical parameters for blades and support structures and design a monitoring system suitable for MAGALLANES and SABELLA, both partners on this project. The monitoring system will help lowering engineering safety factors, thus reducing costs while also improving reliability.

Realtide – Advanced monitoring, simulation and control of tidal devices in unsteady, highly turbulent realistic tide environments

The aim of the RealTide project is to improve the reliability of tidal turbines by identifying main failure causes and offering fundamental changes in the design and monitoring of key components.

Recent advances in the measurement of flow in highly energetic tidal currents allows the effects of both turbulence and ocean waves to be characterized. This provides improved understanding of the causes of failure in tidal devices, including blades, seals, bearings, PTO (Power Take-Off) and other critical components. Combining this new understanding with state-of-the-art condition monitoring systems will allow fault-tolerant, resilient, components to be designed.

More information on the project website: RealTide

uLISS.EMR – Smoothing tidal power production with a Super-Capacitor based energy storage unit

Power fluctuations associated with renewable energy sources cause issues for grid operators, especially on small and isolated grids. For tidal turbines, tide cycles induce slow and predictable power variations. These variations can be absorbed by the grid through proactive power management and mid-term energy storage.

On the other hand, power fluctuations induced by waves and turbulence are much faster and impossible to predict. These phenomena induce power oscillations of a few seconds that disrupt the grid and cannot be absorbed in the long run by any existing storage solution. The aim of the uLISS project is therefore to build an innovative energy storage unit based on super-capacitors that would be able to smooth the fast oscillations of the tidal energy power.

More information on the project website: uLISS.EMR 

CF2T – Competitive Foundation for Tidal Turbine

The purpose of this project is to develop a competitive foundation, immerse it as part of a pre-commercial project and validate the concept in real sea environment. The innovative foundation will be designed to decrease construction costs, with modular interfaces to allow an installation in several packages (foundation parts, ballasts, turbine) in order to limit the installation vessel’s crane capacity requirement, which will also reduce installation costs. The different alternatives to reduce the structure construction costs and modularity will be evaluated including the design of a hybrid foundation combining concrete and steel. The new foundation should also have an adaptive interface with the seabed in order to avoid any seabed preparation. Besides, the project will develop a monitoring system to have a better understanding of loads applied to the structure for future foundations developments. This monitoring will allow the partners to carry out a survey of the structure health for preventive maintenance which will contribute to improve reliability of the foundation.


The Carbo4Power project targets to develop a new generation of durable, multifonctional, digitalized rotor blades for offshore turbines that will increase their operational performance. The innovative concept is based on the nano-engineered hybrid (multi)materials and their intelligent architectures with the scope to deliver both wind and tidal turbines blades. Selected nano-reinforcements will be utilized to control and enhance fracture toughness and other mechanical properties at nano, micro, and macro level. Multi-functional nano-enabled coatings will be developed for both wind and tidal turbines blades, that will contribute to minimize the power losses and mechanical failures.

For more information: Carbo4Power