Wales’ Marine Energy Test Area (META) has welcomed the first deployment in its pre-consented test sites in Milford Haven – with the new C-ADCP tool developed by Swansea University under the SELKIE project experiencing real seal conditions.
The SELKIE project is an EU Ireland-Wales Programme project developing a streamlined commercialisation pathway for the Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) Industry. This 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.
The new C-ADCP (converging acoustic doppler current profiler) tool developed under the project captures high resolution 3D flow velocity allowing the measurement of turbulence at peak flow conditions and provides much higher quality data than a traditional (diverging) ADCP. This data is expected to 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 this 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. META’s quayside sites provide an ueasy access and low risk area for testing marine energy equipment. 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.
“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,” commented Minister for Climate Change, Julie James. “The €100m 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. “Our continued relationship with Ireland is even more important now the UK has left the EU and collaborative projects, such as Selkie, are a vital part of our ambitions within the Ireland Wales Shared Statement and Joint Action Plan.”
“This also marks a key milestone for META, supporting the deployment of this tool and helping to establish Wales as a centre of excellence for marine energy development.”