HISTORY & DEVELOPMENT
1999 – 2001
Lunar Energy was incorporated (as Lunar Energy Limited) and became the vehicle for the commercial exploitation of this new technology. Rotech was appointed as the technical collaborator to Lunar Energy at the end of 2001.
Lunar Energy was conceived and developed over this period by William Law. Mr. Law had an ongoing involvement in the marine and energy industries through his creation of gas-fired power stations, small hydro schemes and latterly a highly successful renewable energy company (biomass and wind). This led to evaluation of the nascent marine energy sector and the practicalities of creating a renewable AND commercially viable marine energy industry. The key point in the creation of this new energy supplier was a technology that was Simple (yet Robust), Invisible and Economic and all stemming from a power source that was Predictable and free. This search centred on innovative and successful R & D companies with strong offshore credentials. Rotech had the strongest profile in this area.
Rotech were asked to carry out feasibility studies into tidal turbine technology. Their own in-house research into omni-directional wind turbines linked very practically into their new tidal system research.
2002 – 2004
Collaboration agreements were put in place between Lunar Energy and Rotech that gave Rotech full responsibility for the technological development whilst Lunar Energy was granted the exclusive worldwide rights to commercially exploit the technology in question. A Collaboration Board was set up to handle decisions regarding the technical and commercial development of the LTT technology.
Also in January 2002 Lunar Energy applied to the UK Government Dept. of Trade & Industry (DTI) for research and development funding. This was successful and in September 2002 Lunar Energy received a research and development grant for the detailed design work on the full scale LTT prototype.
Throughout 2003 Rotech successfully carried out in-depth analyses of their ducted technology and successfully completed 1:20 scale model tests at the Hydrodynamics Centre at Strathclyde University.
In July 2004 Lunar Energy was granted access to the final tranche of funding to complete the prototype design. The DTI’s Technology Development Oversight Panel stated that …
||“The panel accepts the design philosophy of using a ducted turbine and continues to see the attractiveness of Lunar Energy’s concept as becoming a commercially competitive option for generating electricity.”
2005 - 2006
The period 2005/06 saw two major advances for Lunar Energy; While Rotech continued with their development work on the 1MW LTT unit Lunar Energy pressed ahead with:
- Site Identification – this involved assessing the most economically viable sites within the UK (and abroad) for tidal power sea farms. (See DTI 2004 Potential UK Tidal Sites Diagram)
- Investigative Use Permit obtained for Canadian Tidal Resource
- Initial design and costing of the 1MW prototype demonstration device for sea trials at the EMEC test site in Orkney.
- Lunar Energy and E.ON agree links in order to develop the UK's first commercial Tidal Stream Energy Project. (15th March 2007)
- Lunar Energy and E.ON announce a proposal to build one of the largest tidal stream power stations at St David's off the Welsh coast (25 October 2007)
- Final design (in association with Rotech) of the 1MW device and further costings on the commercial design
- Development of commercial connections for RTT Sea Farms in North America and Australasia
- Preparation for the introduction of qualified outside investors and subsequent development of full commercial proposition.
- Completion and bench testing of generator pod.
- Lunar Energy sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries and Korean Midland Power which is intended, after the testing & evaluation of a 1MW LTT unit, to lead to the development of a 300 MW commercial tidal energy sea farm in the Wando Hoenggan waterway off the coast of Korea; This will be the world’s largest tidal energy plant and is planned to be fully operational by 2015
- Lunar completes satisfactory on shore dry testing of a 1 MW generation unit
- China announces plans for massive increase in renewable energy developments
- Lunar engages with a number of potential partners proposing Framework Agreement for others
- Reconstruction of Lunar Energy and establishment of Lunar Energy Power Limited to carry on the commercialization of the RTT
- Lunar Energy renews Investigative Use Permit for Canadian Tidal Resource
- Re-design of the LTT installation methodology
- Design of a 2.4MW unit
- UK patent applied for a redesigned 2.4MW turbine and gravity foundation