OERA funds four tidal research projects

Illustration/Cape Sharp Tidal’s turbine (Photo: FORCE)

The Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia (OERA) has awarded funding to four tidal energy research projects as part of its Open Call Program.

Through the Open Call Program, OERA awards a maximum of $20,000 to various projects, where such funds are leveraged with financial support from others to cover the total project costs, the organization said.

The most recent tidal energy research projects, funded under OERA’s Open Call Program, include the one led by Chris Taggart and Hansen Johnson from Dalhousie University’s Department of Oceanography that will investigate a novel passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) system for use in detecting marine mammals.

The Dalhousie researchers are building on a current research initiative between Dalhousie University and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) from the United States, to develop a system that combines autonomous underwater ocean gliders (Slocum gliders) with the specialized WHOI-PAM system with utility to detect, classify, and report whale calls back to shore at intervals of ~ two hours.

The project completion date is scheduled for March 31, 2018.

Another project, led by Nicholas Fyffe from Blumara Corp, will seek to use a computer modeling technique known as finite element analysis (FEA) to simulate the impact of a tidal turbine blade on fish and to assess whether mortality of marine life can be expected in such an event.

The outcomes of this research will be the development of a methodology and prediction tool for use in assessing the likelihood of mortality for fish-turbine interactions, OERA said.

Blumara Corp will be working with Nova Scotia Community College to complete the work, with a project completion date set for late March 2018.

John Moloney from Jasco Applied Sciences is leading another project funded through OERA Open Call Program. The project involves testing of a near-real-time, drifting acoustic measurement system which will feature a particle acceleration/particle velocity (PA/PV) measurement sensor (vector sensor).

The work will lead to a better understanding of the effects of flow on the PA/PV system and its utility across the broad spectrum of environmental acoustics, according to OERA.

Also, CulOcean Consulting with Joel Culina will be undertaking a project that will investigate the usage of different tools and techniques to improve understanding of wake behavior, for use by industry in optimizing turbine placements.

As a first step, the project team will collect observations of the velocity deficit behind the Cape Sharp turbine deployed in the Bay of Fundy, using vessel-mounted and bottom-mounted acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCPs).

These observations will be used to validate a CFD model of the Cape Sharp turbine and lease area waters. The model is expected to provide the industry with a powerful tool for array planning.

Culina will be collaborating with the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE), and Envenio from New Brunswick, to complete the project due by March 31, 2018.

OERA is an independent, non-profit organization that funds and facilitates collaborative offshore energy and environmental research and development including examination of renewable energy resources and their interaction with the marine environment, with the aim to enable the sustainable development of Nova Scotia energy resources.

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