EMEC awarded MRCF funding to develop unique tidal energy monit
Friday, Feb 28, 2014
The Scottish Government has awarded a share of the Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund (MRCF) to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) to support the further development of an integrated site characterisation and measurement platform for high energy marine environments.
The support of the MRCF Array Technology Innovation Programme (ATIP) will enable EMEC to further develop, test, operate and validate their bespoke Integrated Marine Energy Measurement Platform – a seabed ‘pod’ designed to measure a variety of parameters in tidal flows, such as at EMEC’s Fall of Warness tidal test site, off the island of Eday, in Orkney.
The project aims to provide a way of gathering the much-needed information about potential interactions between marine energy devices and some marine wildlife. It will therefore help accelerate deployment of commercial-scale wave and tidal stream energy as it endeavours to reduce costs and risk associated with marine energy array deployment.
The availability of multiple concurrent data streams gathered by the unit will also contribute to improved characterisation of high energy marine environments, which can assist device design and will also enable more accurate assessment of device performance.
Making real time data feeds available to developers will also help them to predict operations and maintenance events that are likely to be required.
The pod combines onshore and offshore subsea components, including active sonar, acoustic doppler profiler (ADP), hydrophones, conductivity/ temperature/ density/ turbidity sensors, marine radar, met station, and a vessel tracking system.
It will measure a variety of parameters at the EMEC tidal test site, such as current profile, device noise output, device and marine mammal/diving bird interaction, conductivity, turbidity, temperature, density and surface wave height.
The project will review the lessons learnt from the initial prototype deployment in 2012, in order to upgrade the pod and integrate the supporting data streams to develop a pre-commercial demonstration system.
The data generated from this demonstration will also enable the industry to address some of the current key knowledge gaps related to yield assessment, yield optimisation and more accurate device performance.
Simon Robertson, wave and tidal technology acceleration manager at the Carbon Trust explained:
“Data and learnings from this project will be important to better understand site characteristics and marine mammal interactions with devices in tidal flows. These are important considerations for reducing the costs and risks of marine energy and bringing the sector a step closer to commercialisation.”