Achievements

Activity across the consortium has resulted in the following achievements:

  • The population and validation of a GIS database of Scottish wave, tidal, offshore- and onshore wind resources as three year projected time series at 3km resolution. The database also embodies all physical and non-physical constraints on development and maps demand across the electricity network grid supply points.
  • The ability to predict elevation of waves within groups and model refraction, diffraction and shoaling in shallower inshore waters – including the effects of arrays of wave energy converters. This is set within a backdrop of now being able to model the passage and time-location of extreme waves in storm seas.
  • A rectangular tidal flow tank has been built by RGU, at Heriot Watt, for final deployment at Edinburgh to add to the facilities of the curved wave tank, round flow table, and long flume at Edinburgh. Heriot Watt and Lancaster also operate rectangular wave tanks for the consortium. Access to turbulent channel has been secured on-land and provides part-scale facilities between lab-based facilities and the open sea. The Sea-Snail has been deployed and recovered from the sea at Orkney. While asserting itself on the seabed to resist being moved by the tides it has provided extensive data series from its arrays of flow and pressure sensors.
  • Software modelling of tidal flow has suggested the likelihood of a new maximum fraction that quantifies the limit to predictable extraction of tidal current energy from a channel.
  • A wave-to-wire model of an array of wave energy converters has been developed to explore the benefits of on-board energy storage for power and speed regulation. Novel techniques are also being applied to the voltage management of the devices to minimise network impact. This can be interfaced to a full model of the Scottish electricity transmission network that has been built and validated. It is extended into the distribution network in areas of initial or potentially high deployment to study network impact of likely wind and marine development.
  • Models of moorings and their response to wave and tidal current action have been developed and open sea testing is underway to determine the behaviour of some typical mooring configurations for marine energy converters.
  • Solid modelling software has been applied to visualise and construct images and descriptions of wave devices that are interfaced to industry-standard performance predicting software. Hydrodynamic modelling is being advanced by the application of signal processing techniques to predict real-time response of simple wave energy converters.
  • Lifetime cost models of classes of wave energy converters have been developed to include component reliability, operation and maintenance strategies, and predictions of device performance.
  • Four-region computable general equilibrium models of the UK are being developed that disaggregate renewable energies and allow attribution analysis. Through more detailed modelling of the electricity markets they will allow the exploration of a range of alternative policy scenarios.

There are many other exciting outcomes planned that will contribute to the establishment of marine technology as a means of sustainable power generation.