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Marine Renewables

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September 2014 Issue

EMP, Blue Star Ferries Partner on Renewable Tech
Eco Marine Power (Fukuoka, Japan) has begun a project with Blue Star Ferries of Athens, Greece, to deploy and evaluate innovative renewable energy-related technologies for shipping, including the Aquarius Management and Automation System (MAS) with an integrated marine solar power system.

The Blue Star Delos Renewable Energy Innovation Project is a major step forward towards making shipping more sustainable through the use of renewable energy and fuel reduction solutions on board ships.

The project will evaluate solutions developed by Eco Marine Power (EMP) and its strategic partners on board the Blue Star Delos, a passenger and car ferry owned and operated by Blue Star Ferries.

Initially, a marine solar power system using flexible lightweight marine-grade panels from Solbian Energie Alternative (Avigliana, Italy) will be integrated with the Aquarius MAS, and real-time performance monitoring of the solar power array will be conducted. The fuel consumption of the vessel will be logged and emissions data calculated using the Aquarius MAS.

FloWave Tank Opens for Testing Wave, Tidal Devices
The FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility, located at Edinburgh University, has officially opened. The 25-meter circular pool can recreate waves and currents from coastlines around the U.K., Europe and beyond.

“Testing devices in realistic ocean conditions is essential for driving this industry forward to commercial success,” said Minister Amber Rudd, U.K.’s Parliamentary under secretary of state for climate change.

The £10.5 million FloWave facility, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the University of Edinburgh and Scottish Enterprise can simulate scale equivalents of waves up to 28 meters high and currents up to 14 knots in the 2-meter-deep tank, using 2.4 million liters of water.

FloWave’s circular design means waves have no reflections and both waves and currents can come from multiple directions to accurately mimic the real ocean environment. This means researchers and industrial partners can use the facility to develop and refine prototype devices before building and testing them full-scale for deployment at sea.

The U.K. wave and tidal power industry is evolving from single devices to arrays of multiple units.

The tank enables testing at 1/20th scale, crucially filling the gap between small laboratory units and full-scale marine facilities such as the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, Scotland. FloWave can generate currents up to 1.6 meters per second, regular waves up to 700 millimeters high, and considerably larger “freak” waves.

PlanetSolar Serves as Research Platform in Argolic Gulf
PlanetSolar, a solar-powered catamaran, is serving as a scientific platform as part of the TerraSubmersa expedition in collaboration with the University of Geneva (UNIGE) in the Argolic Gulf of Greece. TerraSubmersa will allow archeologists to reconstruct landscapes that have vanished underwater, and to understand the interactions between prehistoric man and the sea.

PlanetSolar will mainly be used to take geophysical measurements, which will allow the researchers to model the topography of ancient coastal zones and to identify any potential traces of human activity. The Alkyon, a boat from the Hellenic Center for Maritime Research, will also be used for this work. Subaquatic excavations will be led by divers.

Oyster 800 on Track with Summer Refit
Aquamarine Power (Edinburgh, Scotland) has successfully replaced the cylinder module on the Oyster 800 wave machine as the comprehensive summer refit passes the half-way mark. The 23-tonne module was refitted to the 800-kilowatt test machine, located at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, Scotland, in an operation that took just over two days. “This is an important waymark on our route to reliable electricity generation,” said CEO Martin McAdam. The new module incorporates a number of significant upgrades to the one it replaces, including new check valves, hoses and control and instrumentation. The aim is to make the device robust enough to withstand the extreme forces it will experience during operation. The company says Oyster is the only wave machine to have operated continuously for three winters, and has generated multiple megawatt hours of electrical power. The goal is to generate electricity reliably. Last year, it took a week to replace a cylinder. This year, the job was done in less than half the time. Aquamarine is on track for power production later in the year.

Imtech Marine Streamlines HVAC for HelWin Bèta
HelWin bèta, the Netherlands’s largest offshore wind platform, has reached its final destination in the German North Sea, where the platform will supply more than half a million households with sustainable energy. Imtech Marine (Rotterdam, Netherlands) is responsible for the design, construction and commissioning of the HVAC system for the platform. This is Imtech’s largest HVAC contract in the Netherlands. Imtech Marine’s alternative design results in significant energy and weight savings. The HelWin bèta is a steel structure measuring 98 by 42 meters and weighing 10,200 tonnes. It comprises five decks and is 28 meters high. It will be installed off the coast near the German town of Büsum as an important link in a cluster of wind farms in the German part of the North Sea. The grid connection with a capacity of 690 megawatts will be operational by the first quarter of 2015. TenneT (Arnhem, Netherlands) and Siemens (Munich, Germany) will use the platform to convert the alternating current of approximately 150 wind turbines around the Helgoland Island into high-voltage DC. The HVAC system will cool the Siemens transformers and converters. Imtech opted for water-based over air-based cooling in some areas, which reduced the eight planned air conditioning systems to three.

2014:  JAN | MARCH | MAY | JULY | SEPT
2013:  JAN | MARCH | MAY | JULY | SEPT | NOV

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