The experiment will utilise HPC facilities to simulate all key aspects of a multibody CCell wave energy device. In addition, the experiment will support work to explore the structural design and integrity of composite materials, which are being used for the first time in a commercial wave energy device.
The outputs from this project include a software platform to enable the optimisation of marine structures through the use of HPC clusters. This system will analyse the fully-nonlinear wave structure interactions and the stresses within the composite or steel structure. Through successive optimisation, the structural design will be enhanced according to a range of criteria given by the user.
Following nine-months of performance testing and three weeks of previous laboratory testing, the CCell device underwent final performance testing. The optimised design is suitable for sites with large tidal ranges, with the unit automatically adapting to change water levels. Survivability was design into the system from the start, with a design that inherently lows the system in heavier seas to extreme loads in the crests of waves.
Manufacturability and maintenance formed a substantial element of the design, with the team working closely with the marine contractors Leask Marine to simplify deployment and maintenance activities. The envisaged full-scale system can be maintained using a small vessel (even a canoe) and deployed rapidly.
The project seeks to paramaterise the CCell WEC and through successive numerical simulations optimise its shape for a range of sea conditions representative of the reference site, seeking to minimise both CAPEX and OPEX costs for a given power output.
To validate the numerical models, the project will also undertake a range of laboratory studies on three curved paddles, and also on a flat paddle, with the latter forming a base`line for comparison.
The main objective of FORESEA (Funding Ocean Renewable Energy through Strategic European Action) is to help North West Europe enterprises working in low carbon technology to test their technologies in real sea environments and to enable power to be economically extracted from the ocean.
The FORESEA funding will support testing of CCell device in the Orkney islands during 2017.