ANSYS Provide the Power to Simulate Subhub’s Capabilities

Simulating Real-time Loads & Responses

QED Naval has recently acquired simulation and assessment tools from ANSYS to help realize and demonstrate the Subhub Platform’s promise, to significantly reduce the cost of deployment of wave and tidal turbines.

In order to assess the fluid loadings during transportation, installation and operation through life, ANSYS Fluent will be used. These working loads and more conservative extreme loads will be used to calculate the structural response of the Subhub using ANSYS Structural.

Within the ANSYS universal simulation environment, effective Fluid Structure Interaction (FSI) assessments will allow QED Naval to understand the capabilities of the Subhub and the safe operational windows which is so important when considering installation, operation and maintenance procedures within these energetic areas.

ANSYS  was selected for the unique features of its unified front end, called Workbench, that can combine and share data from multi-physics design simulations and provide potential for exploring the Subhub’s key parameters using optimisation methods.

QED Naval Offers a Great Job Opportunity

Graduate Naval Architect

This role is a exciting opportunity to join an SME and have a high degree of responsibility from the start which will quickly progress a career within Naval Architecture to Chartered Status. The candidate will experience many different aspects of engineering design and production that you just wouldn’t get from larger corporate firms. The role requires a strong independent and motivated personality who is willing to take on a challenging research and development project.

Subhub is a large marine platform for the transport, installation and operation of marine renewable turbines at the intended site. The first stage (12 months) is a feasibility study which involves:

  • A sizing/parametric study of platform and the development of an initial geometry, based mainly on the assessment of the platform’s stability characteristics in all it’s operational roles to various classification standards.
  • The project then moves from statics to dynamics to develop numerical models of the installation procedure whilst subjected to the powerful environmental loading conditions.
  • Once confidence has been provided for the installation procedure further modelling methods will be used to determine the stability of the Subhub and turbines on the seabed during operation.
  • The final part of the feasibility study is the development of a commercial model building the relationships with the supply chain required to procure this large marine structure.

The skills required by the candidate(s) place a strong emphasis on numerical analysis of marine systems and utilise state of the art Computer Aided Design (CAD)/Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) tools including GRC Paramarine and ANSYS AQWA, Mechanical (FEA), and CFX (CFD) tools. A working knowledge of one or all of these tools is preferable but the principals of how they work is essential.

For further details and to indicate and interest in the post, please submit CV’s to Jeremy Smith.

QED Naval Seeks Private Investment to Unlock SMART Grant

As earlier posts have suggested, QED Naval has been awarded a SMART Grant from Scottish Enterprise for £100k to conduct a feasibility study on the technical and commercial viability of Subhub. The assumptions made in the financial projections submitted to Scottish Enterprise have led to conditions that now need to be met to successfully unlock the grant. The main one being to secure £55-80k of private investment and will allow QED Naval to purchase the tools and equipment needed to perform the analysis and help secure another permanent member of staff.

Any investor interested in an equity stake in QED Naval and the Subhub concept would be welcomed. QED Naval is confident of delivering a high and quick turn around on the investment which is used to fund the R & D stages over 24-36 months. QinetiQ intend to register for EIS providing tax efficient method of investment. Please direct all enquiries towards Jeremy Smith (Director).

ETP M.Eng Student Project Gets Under Way

A start up meeting took place on the 28th September between ETP (Dr. Tom Davey), QED Naval and M.Eng Student, Steven  MacKinnon who will be conducting experimental analysis on the stability and hydrodynamics of the Subhub during transportation, installation and operation  within a wave and tidal environment.

Steven has just returned from a summer sabbatical with Xodus so we are confident that he is going to use this experience to the full and produce very useful results to take forward to a large scale prototype. The aim of the project is primarily to fulfil the requirements for achieving Steven’s M.Eng qualification but in doing so produce a scale model for laboratory testing using the facilities at Edinburgh University.

The geometry of the Subhub will be similar to the one produced from the initial sizing studies created by QinetiQ GRC but with some improvements integrating lessons learned from the original analysis. The model is scheduled to be completed by professional model builders by Christmas ready for tank testing early in 2013. It will be instrumented to provide validation of the numerical modelling that is due to be run in parallel to the tank testing as part of the Scottish Enterprise SMART feasibility study.

Patent Application Enters the Final Furlong

The UK IPO have just released the final notification that there are no further objections to the Subhub invention. We now have to wait 3 months before the patent could be granted. The reason for this delay is to give anyone who is interested in the application a chance to make observations on the patentability of the invention and to allow the search to be completed for documents published before the priority date of the invention. This is the final stage before granting the patent.

QinetiQ GRC Completes the Initial Assessment of the Subhub

QinetiQ GRC have completed the initial sizing model of the Subhub and Turbine Module using their Paramarine software. It has concluded that both the Subhub main hull and Turbine Module would pass IMO and MCA stability standards. These results surpass all expectations at this stage of the development and provides a high level of confidence in forging ahead with the feasibility study. The next stage will review the dynamics and motion characteristics of the Subhub and Turbine Module which will explore the safe operating limits of these large marine structures to realistic environmental loads.

Below is the initial stability for the Subhub in its deployment role which includes the Turbine Module. It has a massive initial stability and peaks at approximately 15 degrees and remains positively stable until 80 degree heel angle.

Subhub initial stability surpasses stability expectation.

To provide some feeling of how stable this platform is, below, is a picture of the GZ curve including heel angles that have been imposed from 100 knot gusts. It uses a tiny fraction of its 8.0 m GZ righting arm at just over 0.1 metre. This also suggests that it performs equally well on the seabed under turbulent tidal stream conditions.

Pictured below is the Turbin Module floating on both the light ship and with the main hull section flooded. This is the condition used for the maintenance and swop over of modules and are the waterlines used to tow it back to port.

The picture below shows the Turbine Module after it has been disconnected from the Subhub platform which remains firmly anchored to the seabed with over 1000 tons of ballast holding it in position.

Turbine Module stable at the surface

Below is the initial stability assessment of the Turbine Module with all the tanks full and shows that it is very stable at the surface in this condition and capable of supporting more intrusive operations on the turbines generator or electrical conditioning equipment or towed back to port.

Turbine Module passes IMO stability standards for barge.


QED Naval awarded SMART Grant

QED Naval has recently been awarded a SMART Grant from Scottish Enterprise to carry out a feasibility study on the Subhub concept. The work will assess both the technical and commercial viability of the platform and determine whether the business plan is achievable. The offer is conditional and means that QED Naval are looking for further private investment of between £50,000 to £80,000 in order to draw down on the Grant money.

Subhub Surpasses Expectation on Stability Analysis

QinetiQ GRC have just completed an assessment on the Subhub’s stability in the  floating and compared it with stability standards used commonly within the marine industry. I pleased to announce that it surpassed all these standards with flying colours. Included within the assessment was a generic turbine with a payload of 150 tons elevated at approximately 25m above the Subhub main hull, not including self weight. It also included a payload of 300tons within the main hull representing all the switching gear, heat exchangers, pumps, on electrical transmission equipment.

Marine Energy Platform and Project Developers

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