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Full Stream Ahead To Tidal Turbine Assessments

QED are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Corey Badger. Her role maintains the sophisticated CFD numerical capabilities employed as part of the Subhub tidal platform design process. This uses High Performance Computing (HPC) capabilities which clusters all the high end workstations together to provide 32 core processor power with shared memory of 256GB enabling massive numerical models to run quickly providing tangible results on turbine performance within weeks rather than months. These capabilities are part of the companies ANSYS Fluent CFD package which offer state of the art modelling methods.

QED offers these capabilities and services to other companies working in the sector including turbine and project developers. This includes the performance characterisation of tidal turbines both with and without the Subhub tidal platform to assess the impact of the structure on their performance.

More recently the company has been working with Queens University Belfast (QUB) to assess the impact of Subhub on turbulence within the TTT3 project. This involves taking ‘as measured’ ADCP measurements and determine the turbulence content in it and applying turbulence factors to a numerical model of a rotating turbine in steady state condition that provides accurate general loading and performance data (Ct, Cq, Cp). The next stage is to run these models in a transient solution providing unsteady loading results of the turbine and Subhub.

CFD numerical model of the TTT3 turbines including ‘as measured’ turbulence and flow conditions used to predict the steady state performance characteristics and unsteady loading conditions.

There have been some interesting results to date and this work will be a large part of Corey’s role to validate the claims that Subhub has major performance and unsteady loading benefits on tidal turbines. Further claims of reducing the effect of tidal shear on seabed mounted devices and lessening the issue of turbulence and cross flows on the turbine blades by steering the flow into the turbines like stators of a pump jet.

Corey has also taken on the development of the company’s Tidal and Wave Energy Evaluation Tools (TWEET).  The main module of TWEET takes as measured or theoretical tidal harmonic models along with CFD/BEM performance data of the turbines and projects the energy generated from the inlet condition over a period of a year or the life of the project. Monte Carlo simulations can then be run from within TWEET to determine the economic viability of the project.

Monte Carlo simulations for the cost of the mass including fabricated mass and ballast mass.

The company has also started building its own GIS mapping tool to store and maintain site data including bathymetry, flow rates, positions of moorings, pictures and videos of seabed conditions and mammal, bird and fauna sightings for EIA studies.

Output from QEDs GIS mapping tool showing the position of the selected Subhub test sites at the QUB test centre along with flow data and bathymetry.

Corey brings new capabilities to the company having completed her Ph.D in multiphase flows using OpenFOAM, the open source CFD package. She has used the Edinburgh Parallel Processing Centre (EPCC) super computer to complete her Ph.D and now QED Naval have implemented Linux on a dedicated compute server to run OpenFOAM  capable of completing very large numerical calculations in excess of 10 million cells. Transferring these models over to the EPCC will provide fully validated results within days rather than weeks.

QED Naval Completes Recruitment Drive

QED Naval has recently completed its recruitment drive to enable it to take on the challenges of the Subhub project and bring further capabilities to the business. Alan McIntosh, Craig Salkeld and Jonathan Nicol have all joined the team in the past few months each bringing experience, expertise and new ideas into the group.

Craig joins us from Aquamarine Power where he supported the developing technologies group and now adds to QED Naval’s Mechanical Engineering and Fluid Loading team which are working away on the detailed design phase of the a 4.0m diameter version of the community scale Subhub capable of generating up to 150kW of power.

Alan previously worked with Pelamis including the project that installed the Pelamis device off the coast of Portugal. He joins us as the Operations Manager and will be working on the procedures for installation/retrieval and operation/maintenance of the Subhub. A large part of this role is to manage the risk assessments and health and safety of all those involved in offshore operations.

Jonathan Nicol also joins the team from Aquamarine Power and will be taking on the role of Procurement and Document Control Manager and will be developing the supply chain for the Subhub as well as driving the business management system towards ISO 9001 standard.

This recruitment drive has brought a wealth of knowledge from the wave & tidal sector which will be applied to develop the Subhub project as well as making important additions to the capabilities of the consultancy aspects of the business.

Jeremy Smith the Managing Director said, “We are delighted with the outcome of the recruitment drive. This compact, highly qualified and specialist team gives us the capability to take the Subhub demonstration project through to a successful completion. We are confident of achieving our aims of this project where the key objective is to produce a  step change in the cost of generating tidal energy. Beyond that, this recruitment drive provides us with with the knowledge, skills and man power to support other marine renewable projects which require access to our advanced numerical modelling capabilities from ANSYS and MatLab which simulate the extreme conditions from wind, wave and tidal loading on their structures and turbines”.

QED Naval Commences Fabrication Stage of the Subhub Operational Prototype

QED Naval has launched the fabrication stage of its Subhub operational tidal turbine operational model. The operational prototype will be the largest model created by the company and will seek to test the systems that allow it to ballast and de-ballast itself which in turn will enable tidal turbine installation and retrieval at reduced time and cost. Working closely with Edinburgh based Pentland Precision Engineering the fabrication is expected to take around 2 months and will be ready for operational testing this summer. Previous models of a smaller scale have already verified the concept in terms of the shape and masses involved with the structure. QED Naval director said “This is an important step forward for the Subhub as it will enable us to demonstrate the competitive edge the design has over current installation methods for tidal arrays.” Meanwhile the company is also pushing ahead with the design of the community scale prototype capable of producing up to 200kwhr that will integrate the learning from the operational model.