Columbia Power has awarded InterMoor, an Acteon company, the contract to design a cost-effective and survivable mooring system for its StingRay offshore wave energy converter (WEC) prototype.
The project, which has already started with some advanced modelling and design work, will last for two years with high potential for further work. InterMoor will provide analysis along with the design for the WEC’s mooring system; field engineering; and operational logistics for deployment and recovery procedures in addition to overseeing offshore marine operations.
InterMoor, which is recognized globally in the oil and gas industry as the deepwater mooring technology pioneer, will draw on its vast offshore experience to deliver the necessary expertise in engineering, project management and advanced numerical analysis for its first wave energy project.
The design will be targeted for offshore locations in the USA, Western Europe and other high-energy sites around the world.
Designed to produce energy on a utility scale, the StingRay has been hydrodynamically optimized to produce energy with just a few moving parts. The device comprises a three-piece, fibre-reinforced-plastic hull and two high-torque, low-speed, large-diameter direct-drive rotary generators. It targets simple operation and inherent survivability to reduce operating and maintenance costs, and to produce electricity at prices competitive with other legacy and renewable energy sources with minimal environmental impact.
In selecting InterMoor, Columbia will draw on the company’s extensive design expertise and flexibility and global operations experience. This first contract with Columbia, confirms InterMoor as being a technology-driven organization, a partner that can provide high-quality design solutions, and a company that is establishing itself as a leading and innovative solution provider supporting the renewable energy sector, which it sees as a key growth area.
Developing a mooring system for wave energy projects will require some specific new technology advances to provide economic large-scale projects for the offshore renewable energy sector.
This project will provide Columbia with an integral design solution that uses a systems engineering approach to the development and safe installation of the StingRay. It will also help to advance current mooring technology engineering approaches and installation methodologies and so help to establish and improve the economic viability of offshore renewable energy projects. The InterMoor project manager Michael O’Driscoll has recently completed the pioneering Papa Terra conductor project in Brazil.
Ken Rhinefrank, Vice President of Research and Development, Columbia Power, says, “We are pleased to be working with InterMoor on this mooring design solution. Their experience in offshore moorings, combined with enthusiastic interest in Columbia Powers’ wave energy technology, will ensure the survivability of the system and help us to make strong progress towards reducing the cost of energy.”
Offshore WIND staff, April 25, 2012; Image: InterMoor