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New Recruit Extends QED Naval’s Wind, Wave and Tidal Loading Capabilities

QED Naval are pleased to welcome Thomas Nevalainen to the team. Thomas joins QED Naval from Strathclyde University where he is about to complete his Ph.D. His thesis entitled “The effect of unsteady sea conditions on tidal stream turbine loads and durability” allows QED Naval to extend its wave and tidal loading capabilities and add BEMT methods to calculating turbine loads as part of a more streamlined optimisation process for QED’s Subhub foundation structure. CFD methods can then be used to assess the finalised design.

Thomas will take over the management of access to the Hartree supercomputer which is used to improve turnaround times on large models and increase the speed of learning from weeks to days. QED Naval have access to ANSYS Fluent and X-Flow on the Hartree supercomputer. Fluent is a sophisticated CFD package that provides access to a large number of turbulence models and mesh developments such as polyhedral meshes that streamline the size of the model and improve accuracy. However, despite its sophistication it tends to be sensitive cell quality so a great deal of time is spent generating good conformant meshes both in pre and post processing results.

Highly structure ANSYS Fluent numerical model domain setup to yield accurate results.
Highly structure ANSYS Fluent numerical model domain setup to yield accurate results.

 

Numerical model inner domain cell conversion from tetrehedral to polyhedral to yield a more efficient solution and accurate results.
Numerical model inner domain cell conversion from tetrehedral to polyhedral to yield a more efficient solution and accurate results.

Thomas also takes over responsibilities for utilising the other enhanced capability using X-Flow provided by FlowHD. It allows QED Naval to reduce the pre/post processing time using Lattice Boltzman cells domain that is self-adaptive and easily controlled by the user in terms of vorticity in the model in the areas of interest. It combines this with fully transient, LES turbulent model which resolves the largest turbulence fluctuations in the flow while the smallest eddies are approximated for increased efficiency. The self-adaptive cell capability makes it much easier to conduct rigid body motions such as assessing tidal turbine performance characteristics. From the work conducted to date the tools were well validated using the Subhub performance model tank testing results and assessment of Tocardo’s T1 tidal turbine against their specified performance data.

Velocity contour plot of Subhub combined with a Tocardo T1 tidal turbine to demonstrate the performance capabilities of Subhub.
Velocity contour plot of Subhub combined with a Tocardo T1 tidal turbine to demonstrate the performance capabilities of Subhub.
Velocity contour plot for the Tocardo T1 tidal turbine. This stand alone model was used to validate the software against performance trials conducted at Den Oever.
Velocity contour plot for the Tocardo T1 tidal turbine. This stand alone model was used to validate the software against performance trials conducted at Den Oever.

QED Naval offer these capabilities to other marine renewable companies at competitive rates. The main advantage of this work is it can be used to determine what the design loads are on full scale structures without having to go to the expense of building a prototype. Hence, these assessments can minimise the technical and commercial risks of developing marine renewable structures and turbines.

Sgurr Energy Design Review Provides Investor Confidence

QED Naval commissioned renewable energy consultancy, SgurrEnergy, to undertake an independent technical and commercial due diligence design review of the Subhub tidal turbine transport, installation and foundation system.  It encompassed a review of analysis reports that had been produced as part of the feasibility and R&D studies supported by Scottish Enterprise. These include an analysis of all the tank testing results and the calculations of extreme loads, together with an assessment of the assumptions that have been used in scaling up to anticipated loads in larger device iterations. SgurrEnergy has also reviewed the tidal and wave loading numerical modelling reports that were based upon the tank testing campaign. This forms part of QED Naval’s detailed design process of the 1:4 scale technology demonstrator to be tested at Strangford Lough”.

The report also reviews the status of the tidal market and makes recommendations for QED Naval’s testing programme to validate the suggested performance and operation of the Subhub. These include a requirement to provide clear evidence to support the claimed reduction in CAPEX and OPEX costs compared to other transport and installation solutions, to demonstrate the potential increase in power density by accelerating the flow into the turbines, and to consider means of reducing the effects of tidal shear, veer and turbulence on the turbines installed on the Subhub.

QED Naval Moves Up Town

QED Naval have move their main office to satisfy their growing requirements. Their new city centre location on Castle Street is within Edinburgh’s ‘golden triangle’ (EH2 3AH) and provides improved access to transport links for their customers and clients.

QED Naval's new office on Castle Street, EH2 3AH.
QED Naval’s new office on 11 Castle Street, EH2 3AH.

The new accommodation was formally part of the old Northern Rock buildings and allows us to plug straight into the excellent IT facilities and office network which was left in place.  The dedicated server room also allows QED Naval to upgrade their cluster to make best use of their High Performance Computing (HPC) capabilities provided by ANSYS HPC which provides a significant boost to the performance large fluid loading (CFD) and mechanical (FEA) models.

Map marking the location of QED Naval's office.
Map marking the location of QED Naval’s office.

 

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.

QED Appoints Leading Industry Figure as Chairman

QED Naval have appointed a new Chairman, Allan Thomson, with the approval from the investors Kelvin Capital and the Scottish Investment Bank. This brings a new focus to our business and we are looking forward to utilising Allan’s experience of two decades within the wave and tidal sector.

Allan has previously founded Wavegen which was sold onto Siemens and still occupies a position on the Aquamarine Power’s board. This year he was awarded the Saltire Prize for service to the wave and tidal industry.

Aris Zavvos Joins QED Naval Team

QED Naval is proud to welcome a new member of staff into the ranks. Aris Zavvos who has recently joined us has a Sustainable Energy Systems Master degree and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Edinburgh. Aris has been recruited as the Electrical Systems and Turbine Integration Engineer to manage the electrical design and development of the Subhub tidal turbine foundation as well as validating the instrumentation and data acquisition system during the testing stages of our first prototype.