Swansea University puts tidal lagoon research scholarship up for grabs

Illustration/Tidal turbine housing for TLSB (Image: TLP)

Swansea University has opened a call for applications for a studentship that will investigate marine biofouling and corrosion on the materials to be used for the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project.

The project will investigate the biofouling organisms in Swansea Bay which settle on typical materials proposed to be used for the Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay project.

Frames containing sample panels of the specified materials will be deployed at test sites to determine the dominant fouling organisms and the seasonality of settlement and also to determine corrosion trends, according to Swansea University.

Laboratory trials will investigate how the predicted flow velocity regime within the Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay turbines will affect biofouling settlement by propagules of the dominant foulers identified in the field studies.

Also, the laboratory studies will investigate the suitability of different biofouling and corrosion mitigation methods under a simulation of the expected flow velocity regime.

“Biofouling will be expected to be a serious challenge to the development of a tidal lagoon, although there is a paucity of data available for these structures. We know, however, that the increased drag and decreased hydrodynamic efficiency of ship hulls due to marine biofouling is a major concern to the shipping industry.

“Similarly, marine corrosion affects the offshore oil and gas industry as well as offshore renewable industries such as wind and tidal stream. The hydroturbines and other components of a tidal lagoon will be expected to encounter substantial challenges in terms of biofouling and corrosion,” Swansea University said.

The scholarship provides 3 years of funding with a 6 month period to complete the thesis.

It is part funded by the Welsh government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.

However, Swansea University noted that this scholarship is conditional upon approval of further funding for the Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay project.

The deadline to apply for the program is set for June 16, 2017.

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