Tidal Turbines

In 2016 Nova installed the world’s first offshore tidal array in Shetland deploying three Nova M100 tidal turbines. These 100 kW turbines have been exporting power to the grid for over three years. 

The current Nova M100 turbines have a conventional geared drive train. As part of our ongoing drive to lower the cost of tidal energy our next generation tidal turbine uses direct drive technology, which removes the need for a gearbox.

This new technology is the core focus of Nova’s D2T2 project. The first commercial turbines will be available from 2020, once the testing phase is complete.


Many offshore wind developers are moving towards direct drive technology. Nova is leading this initiative in tidal energy.

Nova M100-D

The Nova M100-D is designed for safe, reliable and low-cost delivery of electricity at the widest range of sites globally.


Key features of the Nova M100-D include:

  • Seabed mounted: an invisible power station mounted on the seabed using a simple rock-solid gravity based sub-structure.  No impact on shipping or navigation. Minimal environmental footprint with no requirement for drilling.  

  • Direct drive technology using a simple rugged low-speed generator to directly convert the blade rotation to electricity without the complexities and inefficiencies of a gearbox-couplings-cooling system. This vastly improves reliability and reduces offshore maintenance.

  • Two-blade rotor: allows turbines to be safely handled on low-cost vessels with widened weather windows for deployment.

  • Simple and efficient blades: our market-leading variable speed rotor design provides highly efficient bi-directional conversion of tidal flows without the need to yaw the turbine or pitch the blades – completely removing two of the most significant potential failure modes (as currently witnessed on wind turbines).

  • Off-the-shelf components: reduce cost and maximise turbine reliability by using warrantied components from blue-chip manufacturers.

Nova M100-D Figures*

Rated capacity: 100 kW

Design life: 20 years

Rotor diameter: 8.5 metres

Rotor speed: 10 to 27 rpm

Mounting: gravity seabed base 

Starting tidal speed: 0.5 m/s

Tidal speed for rated power: 2.0 m/s


*Typical configuration: can be adjusted to optimise performance at a particular site

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