The Tocardo concept was developed by Teamwork Technology, an incubator for renewable concepts such as energy, transport and housing. Different concepts, from a venture to a ring generator, have been developed but proved to be too expensive and unreliable. Instead of focusing on efficiency the decision was made to focus on reliability and affordability. The offshore experience and knowledge within the company resulted in the installation of the first Tocardo test turbine in 2005, followed by the installation of a commercial turbine in 2008. Tocardo became an independent company in 2008 and has been fully commercial since 2012 when the first turbines were sold to clients in Nepal and Japan. With the investment of Huisman, Tocardo is ready to become a leader in the tidal energy market.
The Dutch have a strong relationship with water. The interaction between water and land has led to innovation as well as inspiration. On one hand we tend to defend ourselves against the water with dams and dikes, on the other hand we stretch ourselves with new solutions in using the force of water. Water has become a key factor in our economy. The struggle and challenge with water is a key factor in our DNA. As a nation of entrepreneurs we look for new opportunities and multi-use of our water-infrastructure. Therefore tidal energy fits us well. In combination with the need for sustainable energy and smart solutions, this way to generate energy is a perfect opportunity for us.
We are Tocardo. A Dutch founded and based company and global leader in tidal energy solutions. We are driven to develop state-of-the-art business solutions that maximise the potential of the tidal energy production worldwide. We believe that this type of energy stands at the beginning of its development and its full potential, just like wind turbines 10 years ago. But unlike other alternative sources, this ‘flow of energy’, delivers a solid, reliable volume of green energy. Therefore it generates a competitive ROI for investors.
Reliability and Affordability
Our team consist of great professionals, each passionate about the product and our ambitions. The offshore experience and knowledge within the company resulted in the installation of the first Tocardo test turbine in 2005, followed by the installation of a commercial turbine in 2008. We focus on reliability and affordability, so our turbines ‘fit’ a broad a variety of locations and deliver sustainable results.
The Tocardo head office is located next to a Dutch icon, the Afsluitdijk. This historic sea defence of The Netherlands, creates just the right place for research and development. Here our first prototypes (T1) are installed, providing energy for over seven years now. At this location we experience the impact of the tide every day, we can further develop our product and meet our international guests. It has inspired us to create a new turbine-type (T2) for yet another Dutch icon, the Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier in the province of Zeeland, part of the world famous Deltaworks. This installation is the largest tidal energy project in the Netherlands as well as the world’s largest commercial tidal installation of five turbines in an array.
Tocardo is an independent company since 2008 and has been fully commercial since 2012 when the first turbines and universal floating systems were sold to clients in Nepal, Japan and Canada. With a strong portfolio of products and more potential clients, Tocardo is ready to become a leader in the tidal energy market.
An important step for Tocardo was the testing of the first prototype in 2005 and a follow up with a long term demonstration at the same site in 2008. The demonstration turbine is still operational today. Since 2008, many tests have been performed including open water tests at sea and various component tests.Timeline
1999-2005: Research and testing of different design concepts for a horizontal axis design turbine (Venturi/Ring generator). A turbine with a Venturi duct was tested using a floating platform. Both the Venturi design and the ring generator design proved less economical than a two-blade centre based direct drive generator design. Tocardo decided to continue with development and testing of a two-bladed horizontal axis turbine with a centre based generator towards a commercial series production.Good performance results
2005-2008: Prototype testing of a full scale 30 – 50kWp two-bladed uni-directional turbine with off-the shelf available standard gearbox and asynchronous generator. Performance and environmental impact tests were performed at the Afsluitdijk tidal discharge sluice test location of Tocardo in the Netherlands. The turbine showed good performance results with the two-bladed rotor design and chosen power system. Fish monitoring surveys showed no negative impact on fish. Tocardo decided to replace this PTO set-up and develop a commercial demonstrator turbine with a permanent magnet direct drive PTO. The robustness and zero-maintenance performance of a direct drive generator made it a much better solution for offshore tidal turbine application.Independent company
2008: Tocardo becomes an independent company, separated from Teamwork Technology B.V., the company co-founded by Hans van Breugel in 1993Bi-blade design
2008-2012: Design and testing of a full scale commercial demonstrator of the T1 turbine with a maximum power output of around 100kW. Since 2008 this demonstrator is operational at the Afsluitdijk tidal discharge sluice test location. This turbine is grid connected. First a fixed pitch uni-directional blade rotor was tested and secondly a patented bi-directional fixed pitch blade rotor was tested. This system is fully passive and a zero-maintenance design. The bi-blade design makes it possible to turn the two blades simultaneously 180 degrees for reverse flow operation. The bi-blade mechanical performance and robustness has tested since 2011. In 2012 open water tests were performed with the T1 demonstrator. The bi-blade hydrodynamic design was improved for the productions series model. This demonstration turbine provided proof of product and formed the blue-print for the commercial production series design.