The Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has announced that the Scottish Government’s Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund (MRCF) Array Technology Innovation Programme has made an award to a team of marine experts - to undertake a research project on Turbulence in Marine Environments (TIME) for measuring and evaluating turbulent effects in tidal arrays in Scottish Waters.
This MRCF project will be managed by the Carbon Trust.
The team of UK experts are led by marine data acquisition company Partrac, with ABPmer undertaking resource characterisation, Ocean Array Systems providing turbulence and hydrodynamic analyses, and IT Power contributing their knowledge of engineering design and device performance. Innovative turbulence measurement instruments are being utilised from Rockland Scientific International in Canada.
As the tidal industry moves toward development of arrays, a limited understanding of the effects of turbulence on loading, structure lifetimes and actual energy yield presents significant risk to stakeholders. This research project presents a unified framework for measuring, classifying and predicting the effect of turbulence on resource assessment, device design/operation and array yield.
Partrac’s Technical Director Dr. Kevin Black said: “Our combined motivation to consider turbulence derives from our belief that the current poor understanding, and lack of information within both domestic and international guidelines on this subject is a significant inhibitor of growth in the industry.”
The team members bring complementary skills and a shared desire to help improve understanding of marine turbulence. The research will initially study in depth two Scottish tidal array sites. The findings will be relevant to tidal arrays throughout Scottish Waters and help inform the wider industry in applying this knowledge into future projects and include a set of guidelines to assist the industry in addressing unresolved issues in respect of turbulence.
“We are pleased to support this important research initiative to help accelerate the development of early tidal array projects,” said Simon Robertson, Technology Acceleration Manager of the Carbon Trust. “This work will feed directly into helping project developers design, construct and operate in what is a challenging environment where turbulence is a key factor.”
The project held a workshop at the Renewable UK Wave & Tidal Conference & Exhibition in Belfast on Wednesday 26th March 2014, which was attended by around 40 experts and discussed in detail the plans for this research to make it as widely beneficial as possible.
Press release, February 27, 2014; Image: hammerfeststrom