In the spotlight at UK's largest innovation show

Smith Engineering was one of 25 trailblazing innovators from across the country to launch new innovations and products at Innovate 2016 earlier this month.

The two-day event in Manchester was hosted by the Department for International Trade and Innovate UK and is the largest cross-sector innovation show in the UK.

We launched the Tidal Stream Power Generator – a highly-efficient, low cost, direct drive, floating turbine concept – for generating electrical power from the movement of water in rivers, estuaries and inshore tidal streams.

On display at the event – A 1/6 scale working prototype used for trials and data collection

On display at the event – A 1/6 scale working prototype used for trials and data collection

Tidal generators have been expensive and difficult to build but this device is half the cost of other systems. Its design features should make tidal power more viable.

Its high efficiency comes from the augmenter cone which our tests have shown causes the rotor to turn 50% more quickly – so it produces more electricity. A full size unit will produce 125kW.

Water flow is from the turbine duct (shown in blue) to the wider end of the cone (shown in silver).

Simple and fewer components make it cost effective and it is easily deployed using its floating catamaran platform from where it is raised and lowered for in-situ maintenance.

Innovate UK Chief Executive Ruth McKernan said: “I congratulate Smith Engineering on their success in winning a place and thank them for their involvement in our annual flagship show of innovation excellence across the UK.”

Smith Engineering Business Development Manager Jonathan Smith said: “We were pleased to attend Innovate 2016 to launch the Tidal Stream Power Generator. We had a great response and now look forward to further trials of the device off the Cumbrian coast."

VIDEO: A short video about the device, originally streamed live from Innovate 2016, can be found here.