The vertical axis turbine used for ocean current applications has vertical blades which are supported on struts attached to a vertical shaft. The blades are shaped so that they will rotate in a current, whatever be its direction. This is particularly useful for tidal applications where the current direction reverses regularly.
As with the horizontal axis turbine, a vertical axis machine can be either bottom mounted or fixed to a floating platform. The latter design has been tested in a 130 kW prototype in Italy.
It is possible to deploy an array of vertical axis turbines arranged like the elements of a vertical fence. When used in tidal waters this is called a tidal fence. The scheme allows the maximum amount of energy to be extracted from a single site. A prototype based on this concept is being planned for installation in the Philippines.
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