The first stage of any planned work is to conduct a survey of the seabed to build a 3D model of the area. This work includes underwater photography of the marine life and key features. Additionally, rock core samples will be drilled from across the site to understand the strength of bedrock and the depth of available sand.
This work provides us with a baseline understanding of the current site and allows CCell’s engineers to design and optimise the positioning of the coastal protection.
A combination of 3D bathymetry maps, global climate models and local wave buoy data, is used to develop a numerical model that approximates waves and currents in the area over a ten to twenty year period.
Within this model, different arrangements of artificial reefs can be analysed to assess their impact on the movement of sand and the potential reduction in extreme wave heights.
The reef structures are then designed, looking at their structural stability in both the short-term, when they are mostly steel, and the longe-term after 10cm of rock has grown around the steel.
The final phase in the design is selecting the optimal combination of renewable power for the system, including the use of solar or wave energy.
Where possible, manufacturing is undertaken using local facilities near the deployment site. Specialised components and the power electronics are manufactured in the UK with parts sourced from across the EU.
The complete system is typically assembled at a local marina or port, ready to be installed in sections using a small vessel, and without interference to local operations (e.g. local leisure vessels or swimmers).
Local marine operators are employed to undertake the installation with supervision from CCell. The installation is designed to be simple and does not require any large boats or cranes. A single CCell-Wave unit can be installed in under a day.
6m sections of reef are positioned manually, anchored adjacent to the wave paddle and then connected up to the power supply. As soon as the reef is electrified, the limestone rock starts to form around the rebar.
To establish corals on the reefs, CCell works with experts from the Global Coral Reef Alliance to advise on and provide coral species most appropriate for the area. Cultivated coral fragments are then attached to the reef.
The CCell solution is remotely monitored through a 3G mobile link. This allows our engineers to fine-tune power to the reef and continually monitor the health of the CCell-Wave paddles.
Annual site inspections are carried out at the same time as scheduled maintenance. During these inspections we track the growth of the reef, the beach status and check the performance of the equipment.