The project

This project will directly solve the challenge of measuring the fatigue performance of tidal turbine blades by generating, for the first time globally, statistically robust accelerated cyclic loading data for the lifetime of a fullscale tidal blade. This will be carried out at economic cost over a short timescale that will enable developer designs to be more quickly refined than is currently possible. Tidal turbines operate in a harsh marine environment, characterised by significant levels of flow unsteadiness, with tidal blades needing to withstand both deterministic (e.g. shear profile, tidal fluctuations) and stochastic (e.g. waves, turbulence) induced loads. The resulting fatigue loading is a significant cause of blade failure. Understanding these loads and their impact on blade structural performance is crucial in order to avoid premature failure and to increase confidence in tidal blade design, leading to reduced cost of energy. This project will model, define and apply these fatigue loads to develop a process for full-scale tidal blade testing.

Dr Jeffrey Steynor - Principal investigator

Jeff is an Electrical and Mechanical Engineer with a PhD in Optimising Ocean Energy Devices. He has over a decade of experimental expertise and facility operation, including the role of Project Engineer in the commissioning and operation of the FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility from 2013-2017. Dr Jeffrey Steynor has led the development of the FASTBLADE facility design and development since 2017 and is responsible for the design, procurement, installation, commissioning and operation of FASTBLADE (

Jeff also represents the UK in the development of the marine energy standards. He is on the project team for the TC114 IEC Marine energy - Wave, tidal and other water current converters

Jeff also represents the UK in the and IEC System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Renewable Energy Applications WG360 and WG361.

Find out more about Dr Jeffrey Steynor

On-demand video: Supergen ORE Hub Annual Assembly 2022

Dr Fergus Cuthill - Experimental Officer - FASTBLADE Structural Composites Research Facility, University of Edinburgh

Project resources

Video: Loadtide - Full Scale Fatigue Testing for improved composite design

Video: Loadtide - Full Scale Fatigue Testing for improved…

Supergen ORE Hub Annual Assembly - January 2021

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