“Subhub supports every stage of a tidal turbines life from integration ashore to deployment, installation and retrieval for maintenance and finally decommissioning”
What is Subhub Tidal Platform
Subhub is a submersible, gravity based, foundation platform that supports every need of tidal turbines through life.
- Its unique ballasting system enables it to be self installing and self aligning with the flow
- It requires limited amount of support from commonly available tugs and barges
- No other moorings required since it encapsulates its own solid ballast
- Therefore only requires a single, quick offshore operation to install it making deployment an extremely low cost exercise
- Importantly it has high availability of marine operations because it has wide weather, wave and tidal windows.
- The hull form is carefully designed to accelerate the flow to extract the most energy from the site and overcome tidal shear
- It’s performance is relatively uneffected by cross flow angles
- Significant environmental benefits of no-noise installaiton with zero aesthetic impact on the seascape
Full systems integration is conducted at the quayside. This is much safer and logistically easier than connecting up tidal turbine systems offshore. Most importantly it means the cost of deployment is substantially reduced since there is NO reliance put on large and specialist installation structures. Only harbour tugs and multicats are required which are commonly available and about 10x less expensive to anchor handlers and/or DP2 vessel and 15x less expensive to jack-ups and crane vessels.
Subhub is a fully integrated platform. That means it has everything onboard that it requires through its life. Therefore it can be deployed in a single offshore operation with very little support required from vessels. In fact, commonly available harbour tugs is all that is required to deliver the Subhub tidal platform to the tidal site.
Subhub is designed to be towed offshore in high sea states and this has been proven in the deployment of the demonstrator in near gale and rough conditions during its transit from Belfast Harbour to Strangford Lough. Commercial pressures can force schedules and having large operating weather windows is important for maintaining deployment rates and costs.
Installation and Retrieval
The installation and retrieval stages of any tidal turbine is the riskiest part of any offshore operation and this is where Subhub excels. Instead of using a heavy lift crane barge or DP2 installation vessel, which are assets lent from the O&G industry, Subhub uses buoyancy and its excellent stability characteristics when submerged to dive to the seabed. QED Naval have proven this installation and retrieval in both model and full scale.
One of the key advantages of this installation method is its simplicity, reversibility and robustness against against environmental conditions. The model and demonstrator has been proven in a broad range of environmental conditions.
Retrieval for maintenance is as simple as installation and means maintenance costs can be minimised as opposed to rely on expensive recovery methods like DP2 vessels.