SELKIE tool debuts at Wales’ national marine energy test site
The team behind Wales’ national marine energy test facility, META, has welcomed the first deployment of a new open-source tool to measure high quality turbulence data in its pre-consented test site in Milford Haven.
The tool, developed by Swansea University under the SELKIE project, is a C-ADCP (converging acoustic doppler current profiler) that captures high resolution 3D flow velocity, allowing the measurement of turbulence at peak flow conditions.
It is said to provide much higher quality data than a traditional (diverging) ADCP, according to Marine Energy Test Area (META) team.
The data obtained will be beneficial in growing scientific understanding and characterisation of the fluid dynamics of tidal stream sites.
The tool has been designed to be easy to deploy and recover through the use of a deployment raft and self-recovery acoustic release system and so greatly reduces the traditional deployment costs of expensive vessel hire.
A quarter-scale model of the tool has been deployed at one of META’s Phase 1 Quayside sites, Criterion Jetty, to test the deployment and retrieval methodology as well as some sensor testing.
The full-scale unit will be deployed at META’s Phase 2 open-water tidal test site, Warrior Way, in the autumn for full operational testing of the sensors, META team informed.
Julie James, minister for climate change in Wales, said: “This new innovative tool designed by EU Ireland-Wales Selkie Project, will increase understanding of the effect of tidal streams, assisting in the development of ocean energy devices by Welsh and Irish businesses across the Irish Sea.
“The €100 million EU Ireland-Wales Cooperation programme provides an excellent platform for Welsh and Irish institutions, businesses and communities to learn from each other, share best practice and forge long lasting partnerships, and tackling some of the major challenges of our age it will pave the way for opportunities such as the potential to generate clean energy through working together”.
The SELKIE project is an EU-backed Ireland-Wales project developing a streamlined commercialisation pathway for the marine renewable energy (MRE) industry.
The project, led by a consortium of 6 partner organisations, brings together academia and industry through the development of open-source, multi-use tools and models to reduce MRE costs as well as developing a cross-border innovation network to increase and diversify MRE businesses in Wales and Ireland.
Ian Masters, professor at Swansea University, said: “Within the cross border SELKIE project, we are developing a number of open-source tools that require testing in a real sea environment.
“We have previously used META to develop our tidal surface current measuring drone and have now successfully tested the novel deployment & retrieval methodology of our C-ADCP device. We are following industry best practice with a structured innovation development pathway, working at scale and testing subsystems, reducing risk as we progress”.