Technological Cost-Reduction Pathways for Axial-Flow Turbines in the Marine Hydrokinetic Environment

Daniel L. Laird, Erick L. Johnson, Margaret E. Ochs, and Blake Boren – Sandia National Laboratories Technical Report, September 2013


This report considers and prioritizes potential technical cost‐reduction pathways for axial‐flow turbines designed for tidal, river, and ocean current resources. This report focuses on technical research and development cost‐reduction pathways related to the device technology rather than environmental monitoring or permitting opportunities. Three sources of information were utilized to understand current cost drivers and develop a list of potential cost‐reduction pathways: a literature review of technical work related to axial‐flow turbines, the U.S. Department of Energy Reference Model effort, and informal webinars and other targeted interactions with industry developers. Data from these various information sources were aggregated and prioritized with respect to potential impact on the lifetime levelized cost of energy. The four most promising cost‐reduction pathways include structural design optimization; improved deployment, maintenance, and recovery; system simplicity and reliability; and array optimization.



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