The Kobold turbine is a rotor mounted on a vertical shaft which produces mechanical energy by exploiting marine currents. The system is moored by four anchoring blocks where the water depth is 18-25 m and the expected current velocity is about 2 m/s. The system consists of a buoyant support platform and the patented Kobold turbine. The platform, designed by the Ponte di Archimede Company, houses the gearbox, a 160 kW synchronous generator and the necessary electrical equipment. The Kobold turbine (cross flow rotor, 6 m in diameter, equipped with three blades with a span of 5 m) is placed under the platform. More information is available from this 2007 presentation.
The Enermar Project is located in the Strait of Messina, along the Sicilian coast. At a depth of 18-25 meters, the closest city is Ganzirri, Italy.
The Enermar prototype was financed by Ponte di Archimede Company, together with a 50% fund paid by the Sicilian Region Administration (Regione Siciliana), in the framework of European Union Structural Funds.
The Enermar Project was installed in 2001. At 2 m/s the power produced was about 25 kW (the design power is 80 kW). The global net efficiency, including electric and mechanical losses, was estimated at about 25%.
The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has funded this project that was demonstrated at near full-scale from 2004 to 2005.