QED Naval has informed that the fabrication of its Subhub tidal platform is nearing completion ahead of installation at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC).
The platform is being fabricated by Northern Ireland-based engineering company Cimpina, hired by QED Naval last year.
Once at EMEC, QED Naval will use the FORESEA funding to conduct a phased set of sea trials starting this year.
The trials have been designed to demonstrate that a tidal array can be installed and recovered in a single offshore operation using small vessel with low date rates, the Edinburgh-based naval consultancy informed.
The Subhub tidal platform is designed to commission, test, transport, install, and secure a mini array of wave and tidal turbines to the seabed.
The testing at EMEC will be undertaken in three phases, with the first involving the installation and recovery trials at the scale tidal test site using replica turbines and equipment.
The next step will be to integrate Schottel Hydro SIT-250 turbines to provide Subhub with a capacity of 190kW, capable of powering 50 homes, according to QED Naval.
The collaboration will also include SME who will be providing their ‘Flipper’ support structure for bi-directional flow; platform operation module, for controlling the platform at EMEC; and subsea transformer module to transmit power ashore.
The second phase will see the installation of Subhub at the Falls of Warness tidal test site to demonstrate demonstrate the installation and recovery of the system over a wide spectrum of tidal flow and wave heights.
Also, the aim of the second phase is to demonstrate long term deployment capabilities, operational stability of Subhub’s gravity based anchoring system, and performance characteristics of the turbines.
(Photos by QED Naval)
The last phase of the testing will be used to assess the environmental impacts of a longer term deployment and demonstrate the ability of the Subhub to be quickly and easily decommissioned from the site, QED Naval informed.
Following the EMEC trials, Subhub will be put up for sale and re-use at another site, according to QED Naval.
The consultancy plans to further develop the Subhub using a test berth at EMEC with a larger capcity machine rated at 1.2MW.
QED Naval said it is in early stage discussions with several collaborative partners who would like to be involved in this larger scale development due to be deployed in 2018.