The horizontal axis marine turbine GEM "the Ocean's Kite" is an hydrokinetic turbine designed to be driven by
slow-moving flows of water, namely river, tidal or water currents in general.
The patented turbine has been developed since 2005 after a research project done in collaboration with Eng. Nicola Morrone, who is the patent holder together with Prof. Domenico Coiro, professor at University of Naples "Federico II" (Department of Aerospace Engineering) and coordinator of the ADAG Reserch Group.
The GEM system can be easily towed to the installation site and thanks to the self-towing winch can be positioned at predetermined depth (standard depth: 13 m). In absence of current, the GEM assumes the position shown in (Fig. 1).
When water current is flowing, it assumes the position as shown in (Fig. 2). For maintenance, the GEM can be easily brought to the surface simply releasing the tension of the mooring line (Fig. 3).
The main characteristic of the GEM, however, is its passive capacity of aligning itself along the current direction (as shown in the figure 4) and this reminds the typical behavior of a kite from which the name "Ocean's Kite". In case of need, however, it is possible to control this alignment through the aid of a controlled designed system which uses the turbines as propellers.
Due to its special characteristics it has been patented in 2010.
Detailed numerical analysis and two different scaled models (see figures below) have been tested in the towing tank of the "Federico II" University.
The first full-scale GEM prototype has been built by a consortium of Venetian companies and partially sponsored by Veneto Regional and has been deployed in the Venetian Lagoon. For this prototype, the expected power is ~ 20 kW with lagoon maximum current speed of 1.5 m/s.
For a 500 kW plant installed in the Messina Strait, Italy: