The latest community scale version of the Subhub has now been frozen ready for build. Manufacturing outputs have been completed for the new modularised version of the Subhub. This allows the bare hull to be fabricated on the quayside and lifted into the water by a smaller, more available and lower cost crane.
After launch the newly designed modular solid ballast blocks can be easily lifted slotted into the bottom of the hull to provide the impressive stability characteristics of the Subhub during transit and installation.
The pressure cabinets to support the 3 x Tocardo T1 turbines have also been modularised to allow them to be slotted into the top of the hull once the main hull has been launched. This allows the cabinets to be quickly connected up to the generators whilst afloat. Access panels allow simple maintenance operations to be completed at sea.
QED Naval have teamed up with Offler Marine Services Group (OMSG) to provide offshore expertise with the selection of installation and recovery methods, to help de-risk and reduce cost exposure of the Subhub project and its payload of tidal turbines.
QED Naval received a real boost to their plans to reduce the costs of deployment of the commercial scale (multi MW devices) from OMSG. They received a report this week from OSMG produced by the team who have significant experience within the tidal, wave and offshore wind power industry. Steve Offler lent his weight and credibility behind the Subhub project when it was recognised that the feasibility to install Subhub in 30-60 minute time scalesandat a fraction of the typical installation costs currently influencing the industry were achievable.
Recommendations from OMSG’s report are currently being implemented into the prototype structuredesign, based on a 4.0m diameter tidal turbine, tofurther fine tune the offshoreinstallation and recoveryprocess.
Jeremy Smith, Managing Director of QED Naval said, “This is a really exciting development for QED Subhub since the basis of our design is to remove the need for complex, large and hi tech installation vessels with equally high day rates and availability issues. This report along with what we have learned from our ballasting trials at Forth Estuary Engineering are the positive indicators that significant reductions in the costs of deployment of commercial scale devices are not too far away. We are steadily moving towards offering our customers and their investors a generic deployment solution no matter what the location, environment or turbine used“.
Steve Offler, MD at OMSG said “Marine Installation costs and risks are high, QED have identified this and sought to engage installation design expertise early to ensure costs and risks are mitigated, this is an extremely important part of the development process and one that will add significant value to Subhubs future success”
QED Naval selected ANSYS Spaceclaim as their advanced CAD design tool after a review of other products on the market. Spaceclaim is a direct modeler which means any line, curve surface or solid element of the CAD geometry can be modified and updated in an instant using simple tools.
Spaceclaim integrates seamlessly with the rest of the ANSYS suite through Workbench into Fluent and Mechanical. It can import geometry from the majority of CAD formats. It is particularly good at fixing errors in geometry really quickly and intuitively by using the main pull tools. This is particularly useful for CFD fluid modelling and FEA structural analysis.
Spaceclaim provides a significant increase in performance in producing manufacturing outputs drawings which has allowed us to transfer our design to our suppliers and subcontractors quickly and easily.
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 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.
A second submission to the MARINET FP7 has been made, to use the facilities at Tecnalia in Derio, Spain to test the stabililty, reliability and performance of the Power Take Off (PTO) systems to be used in the Subhub prototype testing in 2015.
After a recent training course hosted by Tecnalia and University College Cork (UCC) into the electrical control systems of marine energy converters, it was clear that work needed to done in order to optimise the power output of turbines to take advantage of the additional mechanical power generated by the Subhub. Further work is envisaged with connecting up 3 turbines as an array which all experience very different hydrodynamic loading and hence torque/rpm characteristics.
The configuration and optimal setup of the power electronics will be reviewed as part of this project. The control laws will be developed from the numerical models and scale model testing. These will then be simulated using a time response data driven by virtual tidal flow conditions on the Subhub/turbine. Finally, longer term physical testing of the control systems will be conducted on facilities at Tecnalia to provide reliability and performance data for the prototype prior to it going to sea.
Marine renewable engineering and design consultants