Turbine development
v5 teikn skaThe main project is to develop a new kind of tidal turbine, for practical energy production from the slow flowing races that exist at great many places by the coast. Such races commonly have a velocity of less than 1 m/sec. The Valorka turbines are intended to be cheap in production; easy to handle and recover and to have no harmful effect on the environment. Since work began on the project, in 2009, five different types of such turbine have emerged. They differ in both approach and performance, but all of them have axis perpendicular to the current; they all can take on currents from both directions; all have variable-pitch blades and all but the first ones can be mounted more than one together on the same axis; using the same generator. The development project is carried out at Valorka´s headquarters at Ásbrú in Keflavik, Iceland. Initially, each turbine is built as a small scale model, Ø50cm, and tested in a tub which is located in the nearby villige; Grindavik. Test arrangements and their results are reviewed by experts. The next step is sea trial of bigger scale models; now beginning in Hornafjörður. These will go on, maybe for up to three years for a successful turbine type. After that, a prototype will be built and begin operation at a carefully chosen location by the coast. Prior to that, the methods for mounting, servicing and retrieving the turbine will be developed. This prototype will be test-run for several years, producing electricity. Finally the turbines are ready for mass production and marketing. How soon, is not clear at this time, since it depends on many factors not yet foreseen.

World´s first slow-current turbine to begin sea trials
2013 07 26 je 15All of Valorka´s turbines have been tested as a Ø50cm scale models in a tub. A step forward was taken when, on July 27. 2013, a raft for sea trials was launched in the Hornafjordur estuary, on the Southeast coast of Iceland. It is intended for testing tidal turbines of any kind, beginning with a bigger scale model of V-5; 2,3 m in diameter and 2 m wide. It hangs beneath a floating test-raft, and can be winched up for maintainance. The raft had to be designed and constructed from scratch, since it is the first experimental raft of this kind in Iceland. The 2013 tests only covered the raft itself; results from the turbine tests are expected in 2014. Energy from the turbine is transferred with a chain to a meter on the raft, accurately measuring at the same time torque, rotation speed and current velocity. The test site is at the Hornafjordur estuary. There, conditions are great for such tests; a big estuary with many channels, in which tidal currents are of different strength; totally sheltered from the ocean waves. The local municipality is very interested in the project, for the obvious reason that ocean energy is very abundant in the area while it has no hydro or geothermal energy. This is the first test of ocean energy technology in Iceland and the first turbine ever invented in iceland.

WATT; the world´s first wave-tidal hybrid
This latest part of the Valorka project aims to develop a practical technique for using wave energy to increase the output energy of the tidal turbines. One major part of this invention is the novel buoy system invented by Valdimar Össurarson many years ago, and the other is the coupling system he invented recently. By the aid of wave energy, this hybrid tidal turbine may be able to produce energy during the idle period when the tides are shifting and enhance the output power at other times. This will be the first time such hybrid technology is put to test; giving Valorka yet another lead on an extensive future market.

Ocean energy research
rastir islandValorka has established a tidal energy research project; along with the Icelandic Marine Research Institute, the University of Akureyri and others. It aims at investigating the velocity of tidal currents at energy rich places by the coast and their behaviour at each place. Based on that data, an estimate can be calculated for each place and, eventually, the total tidal energy for Iceland can be estimated. Based on similar research results in neighbouring countries in the North-Atlantic, such as Ireland, Britain and Norway, indications are that the total tidal energy by Iceland may be about 330 TWh/a. This again may be compared to the fact that all of Iceland´s hydro and geothermal energy combined is about 35 TWh/a; according to the governmental energy plans. The percentage useful of tidal energy depends on the technology used.
The research project will be based on a new government policy on ocean energy that has now been put forward, following Valorka´s enterprize.

Test site for ocean-energy technology
Yet one individual project has emerged recently, as a spin-off by Valorka´s development project. This is the investigation into the feasability to establish an ocean energy testing facility in the Hornafjordur-region. This is still at early stages, but the idea seems attractive in many ways. The channels of Hornafjordur are very convenient for raft testing, such as Valorka is now preparing. The channel „Mikleyjaráll“ is an extension of the inlet channel leading to the harbour. With a depth of 12 m and currents in excess of 1 m/sec, it is totally sheltered from the ocean waves. The harbour and the village of Hornafjordur are nearby with all service needed. The area outside the estuary is very rich in ocean energy. Strong tidal currents extend over great distances and the overall wave energy is one of the greatest in the whole Atlantic. This area is therefore of much interest as a center for ocean energy. Another interesting area is the Látrabjarg-area in the Westfjord-part of Iceland, and it will, with no doubt, be the subject of more projects in the future.

A pioneer in ocean energy
Valorka is the first and ,as yet, the only Icelandic firm in ocean energy technology. This may be seen as an advantage for some parts, but at the same time it is a great challenge. Valorka needs, not only to travel the road to success; but also to build that road from scratch; paving the way for other devellopers who might come later. One obstacle after another has been overcome, bringing the project step by step closer to the final goal: To harness the endlessly renewable energy resources of the ocean in an environmentally friendly way and to provide coming generations with green energy in a sound environment.

First slow-current turbines in the world to enter sea trial
2013 07 26 ai 9In July 26th 2013 Valorka became the first turbine developer in the world to test tidal turbines in the sea; intended for use in currents of less than 1 m/sec in velocity. The significance of this event becomes apparent when kept in mind that such slow currents are much more common worldwide than the faster flowing currents for which most other tidal-turbine developers are competing. The slower currents, widely found by capes and shallows all around the world, do however not posess the same energy concentration, and that means that Valorka must keep its turbines more effective, yet simpler and cheaper, than other tidal turbines. We have already solved many of the problems involved, and we have the solutions to solve the rest of them.

Modernizing an ancient invention
waterwheels6The fundamental function of the Valorka turbines is similar to that of an invention more than 2300 years old; the traditional waterwheel. The waterwheel is a convenient way to capture energy from slow currents, because the blades can be made very big to take on maximum pressure of the stream. The challenge was how to get the waterwheel to operate submerged in a stream of water. In order to do that the old waterwheel needed to undergo the most dramatc changes from its earliest invention. Valorka has found, not one, but several solutions to the problem; put them to tests and developed them. At the present Valorka is in the forefront of this technology.
The Valorka turbines are different from the propeller type turbines, most commonly being developed. Valorka aims for capturing energy from currents of less velocity than 2 m/sec, even less than 1 m/sec, which means that the turbines may be used in wide areas outside the coasts all over the world.

Many different turbine types
valorka 1V-1 is the original Valorka turbine. Here, the solution is to make the sides of the wheel conical in shape; split the axis in two and split each shovel in two parts. Then one wheel-half can be folded towards the other in such a way that each shovel folds completely together at one part of the wheel, but opens fully at the opposite part. In this way the turbine´s resistance to the current will be more on one half of the wheel than the other. 
valorka 2
V-2
is an improvement of V-1. The conical sides have been replaced by pins. This means that the blades can extend into the „cones“, increasing the surface and resulting in more torque. This also means simpler design; improved stability of the blades and spimplicity in construction. A patent was granted, which included both V-1 and V-2. It also included a novel shifting mechanism, which makes it possible for the turbine to operate in shifting tidal currents; while the direction of rotation remains unchanged.

valorka 3V-3
is based on a different approach, but still bears a resemblance to the old waterwheel. Basically it consists of one single wheelside, with shovels hinged on each side of it. The shape of the shovels allows the current to open them at one position and shut them closed at the opposite position. The advantage compared to V-1 and V-2 is that many V-3 turbines can be combined on a single straight shaft, using a common generator. This makes the whole unit much more economical and effective.

valorka 4V-4 is yet another completely different solution. The V-4 has no wheelsides at all. Through the axle go free-spinning pins on which the blades are mounted in pairs; in the way that when the current hits one blade flat-on, it hits the opposite blade edge-on at the same time. The resulting difference in resistance makes the turbine turn, and at the same time the current causes the blades to shift their position. In reversed current the blades are flat-on at the opposite side, but the spinning direction of the turbine stays the same.

v5 teikn skaV-5 is the latest type. This is a direct derivative of the former types, but even simpler and proved to be more effective in tub-tests. This was the type selected for the first sea trials. As the others, this turbine is fundamentally a waterwheel with its main axis at 90° to the current. The one shown has 10 blades which are hinged on pins so they can be in open position; flat against the current, or closed position, with the edge towards the current. The blades´ pins are fixed at slightly less than 90° to the axis, causing the blade to open when the blade approaches the upstream-position. When in open position, it gets pushed back until downstream, where it is turned to the edge-on position by the current pushing on its backside. This repeaded action causes the turbine to spin and deliver energy. When the tide turns, the blades open on the opposite half of the axis, but the spinning direction remains the same. Arranged on a straight axis, many turbines can use a common generator. Technology already exists for submerged generators, cables and other parts needed.

The WATT-hybrid: Wave Assisted Tidal Turbine
Older than the first Valorka turbine is Valdimar´s invention of a Wave Energy Convertor. Based on the long tradition of fishing in the rough seas of Icelandic waters, this WEC is able to withstand gale forces better than previous devices. When first presented, the ideas did not get sufficient finance and were put to rest. Recently they emerged again, as a solution has been found to making the WEC a part of the Valorka tidal turbine. This solution is a coupling mechanism which transfers the pull of buys on the surface to a special gearing device on the turbine´s axis; enhancing the power output of the combined unit. Valorka started developing this invention in january 2014. To date, no such hybrid has entered sea trials, and Valorka intends to be in the lead of this technology. This hybrid has the approriate name WATT; Wave Assisted Tidal Technology. It may not apply at all places, since many of the energy-rich races by capes are also in the route for ship-traffic. But where applicable, it will make the Valorka turbines even more practical for ocean energy production.

From tub to sea trials
014All Valorka turbines have been tested in a tub as a Ø50cm scale models in a tub. In 2013, a bigger scale model of V-5 began sea trials in the Hornafjordur Estuary. It is tested in a floating test-raft; purpose-built by Valorka. This is the first test of ocean energy technology in Iceland and the first turbine ever invented in iceland.
Tidal turbine farms – no environmental hazard
Valorka is developing methods for installing the turbines and servicing them. The turbines will probably sit in mid-depth on poles, rising from the bottom; tethered for stability. Each energy-production site will probably consist of several turbines, connected to a common hub with electricity being fed ashore by a submerged cable. The spinning of the turbine is very slow, so wildlife will not be harmed. Sea traffic will not be hindered because the powerplant is totally submerged. In fact the turbines seem to have no environmental effects, making them the greenest possible way to harness energy. The idle time between the shifting of tides can easily be compensated for by many methods,for example by grid-connection of many turbines at different locations, using the different time of tides from one place to another.
Still more novelties are on Valorka´s drawing board, such as a suitable genertor for slow turbines of this kind; a combined wave- and tidal energy device; methods to lay out and service the turbines and more.

Different approach – added value – protection of environment
The primary goals of the Valorka turbines design are „efficiency, simplicity and rugged design“. This kind of turbines, sometimes referred to as „crossflow turbines“, is more suitable to harness tidal energy from relatively slow flowing currents than most of the turbine types now in development. Those are of the „axial flow“ type; many of them resembling the wind turbines used on land. Axial flow turbines need currents in excess of 2,5 m/sec to work effectively. The Valorka turbine is expected to work effectively at 1 m/sec and even slower currents. The energy in currents to the velocity by the power of 3, and thus turbines in slower currents will not deliver the same power each as axial turbines. But this can be compensated for by cheaper turbines and the electrical interconnection of turbines; turbine farms. Their greatest advance is that they can be used in variety of places by the world´s coasts, while the fast-flowing current is limited to relatively few channels. The Valorka turbines do not have to be as rugged as the others and they will be cheaper in production. That means that the turbine will be accessible by poorer nations, which then can use their own energy resources and reduce their dependance on polluting oil and coal. It will also benefit many rural districts, which need long and fragile powerlines, but then may be able to use the tidal energy by their coasts. The Valorka turbine will thus be a great step forward in many aspects, opening new possibilities in energy production; more equal access to energy and energy safety.
The Valorka turbine is expected to be fully submerged; safe from the surface turbulance which may be very destructive. This also prevents hazards for ships. The Valorka turbine is probably the only way to harness energy without any known environmental risk. No air pollution; no chemical pollution; no visual pollution; no sound pollution; no radiation; no sacrifice of precious land. Sceptics may point out that tidal currents are not a coninuous source of energy, as they stop and change direction up to four times a day, depending on situation. This is true, but this can easily be compensated for by various means. One is to connect turbines at various places along the coast; using the time difference in daily tides; other is to use other sources of energy to compensate, for example wind or hydro; the third method may be to use tidal energy to produce another form of energy, such as hot water or hydrogen. We may have to adopt new procedures to make use of tidal energy, but the benefits are obvious. Tidal energy is not only the most environmentally friendly, but the most predictable form of energy found on Earth. For each place we can predict the available energy hundreds and thousands of years into the future. Tidal energy is our future energy source.

verdlaun

 

 

Leiðandi tækni til nýtingar sjávarfallaorku í annesjaröstum; umfangsmestu og áreiðanlegustu orkulauðlinda Íslendinga; án umhverfisáhrifa og til bættra lífsgæða komandi kynslóða

 World-leading technology for harnessing open ocean tidal energy;
a vast resource of renewable and dependable energy;
without any environmental hazards; for the benefit of future generations
award inpex 2014           

Valorka ehf is a privately owned firm; founded in 2009 and owned by the inventor, Valdimar Össurarson.  
Headquarters are at Ásbrú; a former US military base in Keflavik, Iceland.  Tub testings are carried out in the village of Grindavík but testing grounds for sea trials are in the Hornafjörður estuary, on Iceland´s South-East coast.
Our mission is to develop a technique for harnessing the vast renewable energy of the oceans, in an economical way and without any envionmental hazard.  We develop pioneering solutions to harness the relatively slow currents,frequently found by nesses and shallows in coastal areas all around the world.  We are aware of the challenges involved, since slow currents have much less energy concentration than the fast currents of channels that most other developers are after.  Therefore our turbines will be made of lightweigth material; simple and cheap in construction; simple to operate and retrieve; without any known hazard to the environment and, last not least; have a great market potential, because such slow currents can be found in coastal areas all around the world.  
 
The Valorka team:
valdimar 2Valdimar Össurarson   Inventor and founder of Valorka ehf.
Role in project: CEO, project manager and inventor.
Educated as an electrician and  a quality manager, Valdimar´s earlier jobs include farming, fishing,  trade, teaching, tourism and various project management.   His previous inventions include an avalanche early warning system and a safety line for fishermen.  Also his invention for a wave energy converter, which may become a part of the tidal turbines, as the world´s first tidal- and wave hybrid.  Valdimar is now chairman of the Icelandic Association of Innovators and Inventors, and is leading a group; aiming to establish the first icelandic science center.  Along with the development of marine technology, Valdimar has prepared a project which aims to investigate and map Iceland´s ocean energy.  Also he has been
consulting the Icelandic government and Althingi on creating a policy on ocean energy; given letures in universities and in other ways promoted the neccessity of ocean energy use.
halldor palsson
 
Halldór Pálsson Ph.D.  Associate Professor at the Dep. of Industrial Engineering,
Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Iceland.
Role in project:  Primary consultant for tests and mechanical development.

 
vigfus arnar josepsson
 
Vigfús Arnar Jósepsson  
Mechanical engineer at the engineering firm Verkis. 
Role in project:  Assisting consultant for tests and mechanical development.
 
 
johann eyvindsson
Jóhann Eyvindsson  
Steel construction designer and a blacksmith, and other professions. Curr. teacher at ICE-SAR
Role in project:  Steel construction; assisting to tests etc.

ingvar magnusson
Ingvar Magnússon  
Mechanical engineer and Solidworks designer; manager of Viz; design and engineering company.
Role in project:  Design and consultace.

hedinn valdimarsson
Héðinn Valdimarsson  
Marine scientist at „Hafrannsóknastofnun“ ( Icelandic Marine Research Institute).  
Role in project:  Marine current consultation and research.
 
hamid
Hamid Jamshidnia
 Ph.D.   Mechanical engineer.  Specialty: fluid dynamics.  
Postdoctoral research scientist at the University of Iceland.
Role in project: Fluid dynamics engineering.

Mentioned above are just a few of the Valorka team; more can be seen here:  The Valorka team.  
 
History and milestones
Roots of the Valorka project extend more than 40 years back, to the times when Valdimar was  growing up and living in Kollsvik, which is located in the Westfjord-area of Iceland; the westernmost part of Europe.  Electricity came to the area in the 1970s, but the power lines broke down frequently, stretching over long distances in mountious 101185916 SPwHdhXuand difficult terrain.  At the same time, vast ocean energy is always at hand by the coast, in the form of ocean swells and strong currents.  Wouldn´t it be possible to convert this energy to electicity and put it to use?  Working as a fisherman in these waters and later all around the Icelandic coast, Valdimar´s ideas began to take shape.  In later times, the demand has grown worldwide for new methods to harness new renewable energy resources; without ruining the environment for the present and coming generations.  Many technical solutions are being developed, but none of them aims to capture the vast energy in races by capes, which are relatively slow flowing compared to some channels.  
Out of job in the 2008 crisis, Valdimar decided to put his ideas to test.  When he first presented his ideas they were met with scepticism from all directions.  Iceland is famous for its use of renewable energy and it has been a widespread misunderstanding that hydro and geothermal energy would satisfy all our energy need till the end of times.  Recently, Icelanders have awoken from this dream:  We have already used more than half of our hydro and geothermal energy and the rest will only last for a 2 or 3 decades, given the same increase in energy demand .  What then?  What about future generations?  Ever more Icelanders are now awakening from the dream, although some are still fast asleep.
After a great deal of dissappointment and denial, the project began to receive some financial support.  Some grants came from the Technology Development Fund; some from the Energy Fund and others from smaller funds.  This has kept the project going for the past 5 years.  Valdimar is the only employee, the work of others is either by contracts or volunteering.
 
Winner of the International Inventors Award 2011
valdimar verdlaun 2011Valdimar Össurarson received the IIA 2011 awards for his invention, the Valorka turbine.  IFIA (International Federation of Inventors) grants this awards for the best invention in the chosen category, which in 2011 was "sustainable energy,  climate and environment".  The IIA 2011 awards were the collaboration of IFIA and SUF (the Swedish Inventors´ Association).
The prize has been very important to the Valorka project; underlining its novelty and status among other major inventions in this sector.
 
The first Icelandic turbine
Valorka´s turbine is the first Icelandic turbine ever to get a patent.  This is interesting in the perspective that Iceland gets all its electricity from turbine-driven generators.  
The first and only ocean energy development firm in Iceland, Valorka made history when its turbines entered sea trial in July 2013.  Ocean energy will play a significant part in future energy production and this event will probably be remembered by later generations.
The Valorka turbines are, as far as known, the first turbines in the world to enter sea trials of those intended to harness energy from currents of less than 1 m/sec in velocity.  If tests confirm the usefulness and practicality of the turbines for this purpose, the Valorka turbines may face the greatest market opportunities imaginable; given the present and growing demand for clean, dependable, renewable energy.
 
Governmental statement
skjaldarmerkidThe Icelandic government has recognized the pioneering work of Valorka, and in june 2014 a governmental statement was issued, emphazising its importance and potential.  The Icelandic government is supportive towards the project and its visions, but at the same time the economic situations in Iceland are critical following the 2008 banking crisis.  Recently, Valorka and the Innovation Center of Iceland made a 3 year agreement about the ICI consultiation to the projects.  Following this; Valorka is expecting a further support from the Icelandic Technical Development Fund for the same period.  The governmental statement may be seen here.
 
World´s first hybrid; the WATT
In 2013 Valorka began working on Valdimar´s new invention, along with the ongoing development of tidal turbines.  This is the WATT or „Wave Assisted Tidal Turbine“:  A method of transferring energy from waves on the surface to the axis of a submerged tidal turbine; enhancing its power output and thus increasing practicality of the system as a unit.  Wave energy will provide energy from the unit while the tides are turning, and aid energy over tides.  The WATT will probably be optional, where circumstances allow buys on the surface. In other places all parts of the unit need to be totally submerged, because of ship traffic etc.
 
More inventions on the drawing board
The pioneering development has already resulted in 5 different types of turbines; with the sixth on its way, along with the WATT.  Several more ideas are waiting to be developed.  Among them is a turbine for capturing energy from very slow flowing currents; well below 0,2 m/sec.  Such small energy concentration needs totally different approach from the water-wheel based turbines that are now being developed by Valorka, but we are confident that this can be done in a practical way; the Valorka way.
Financial support has come mainly from public competiteve funds; mostly from the IcelandicTechnology Development Fund (Tækniþróunarsjóður).  We are hoping for continuing support from public funds, until this unique project has got its proof of concept and neccessary intellectual rights have been established.  Then the project will make an attractive choice for investors.  However.....
 
Investors and collaborators:
.... at the same time we are happy to participate with others who wish to support our mission, either by direct finance or by colloboration, seeking common support; anyone who wants to invest in a profitable pioneering technology for greener future.  
 

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