Photo: The Voith Hydro HyTide turbine (Courtesy of Aquatera)

Tips & tricks for video monitoring of tidal stream turbines come to light

A collaborative research project has made 36 recommendations for the improvement of underwater video technology for detecting wildlife and describing its behaviour around operating tidal turbines.

A photo of the Voith Hydro HyTide turbine (Courtesy of Aquatera)
The Voith Hydro HyTide turbine (Courtesy of Aquatera)

The project, which involved the collaboration of Aquatera, NatureScot and OceanPixel, examined the underwater video monitoring data from five early projects.

The objective was to determine what could be learned from previous monitoring campaigns regarding potential near-field effects of operating tidal turbines on marine wildlife.

The project concluded that the quality of video imagery examined, and hence its suitability for observing wildlife, varied substantially from project to project, according to Aquatera, an Orkney-based energy and environmental consultancy.

To improve future data quality and imagery collected using underwater video technology, 36 recommendations on underwater video monitoring system planning and design, data collection, and data review and analysis were produced, alongside two protocols for systematic inspection of video footage.

Aquatera is currently developing the next stage of this project with an international delivery team, during which the team plans to work with regulators, industry and researchers to help ensure that the recommendations produced during the first project are applied to future monitoring and research activities.