Turbulence monitoring set to begin in Orkney

A trans-Atlantic research project is preparing for the deployment of tidal turbulence measurement devices at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC).

EMEC’s Integrated Monitoring Pod has been equipped with Rockland Scientific’s MicroRider and MicroPod devices used to measure tidal turbulence ahead of long-term deployment off Orkney as part of the InSTREAM project.

Rockland Scientific, a Canadian company specialising in marine turbulence, is leading the project aiming to improve the industry’s understanding of turbulence.

This is expected to enable developers to optimise design, and deploy technology that can withstand the effects of strong tides and currents.

Peter Stern, Vice President of Engineering at Rockland Scientific, said: “The Rockland Scientific MicroRider turbulence instrument system has been successfully integrated onto the EMEC Integrated Monitoring Pod. Communications and data transmission were tested between the Eday shore station and the Kirkwall data centre through the microwave data link.

“The EMEC team is now waiting on the delivery of the rebuilt fiber-optic shore cable before the deployment schedule is finalised. Once EMEC’s Pod is redeployed, data will start flowing through to the servers straightaway.”

The Integrated Monitoring Pod has undergone further improvements prior to its redeployment, with new Valeport current sensors being installed and a recovery system developed by a local marine contractor which negates the need for divers operating in a tidal situation, EMEC informed.

InSTREAM project also involves UK-based FloWave TT, Ocean Array Systems and EMEC, and Canadian companies Dalhousie University and Black Rock Tidal Power.

It will be carried out in both UK and Canadian waters, at EMEC, and at FORCE in Nova Scotia, Canada.

The University of Edinburgh’s FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility, which can replicate tidal characteristics found at EMEC’s tidal test site at the Fall of Warness, in Orkney, will also be used.