The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) has removed its subsea monitoring pod – following months of successfully transmitting real-time data feeds from the seabed at the Fall of Warness tidal energy test site in Orkney – for a winter re-fit.
The first of its kind pre-commercial prototype is connected to the shore via a subsea cable to facilitate 24/7 real-time data collection, and has been delivering live data feeds back to EMEC which can be used by marine energy developers using the site.
Designed by EMEC to operate in high velocity tidal flows, the pod integrates a variety of sensors to undertake comprehensive concurrent environmental measurements, providing improved characterisation of high-energy marine environments.
Making real-time data feeds available to developers will assist in device design, enable more accurate assessment of device performance, and support operations and maintenance planning.
Neil Kermode, EMEC’s Managing Director, said: “The pod was deployed in a highly volatile tidal environment, and we’re glad to have such a competent local supply chain with the combined experience, ingenuity and seamanship to make a tricky project like this run relatively smoothly.
“Credit goes to the team here at EMEC as well as Leask Marine, Bryan J Rendall (Electrical), RM Computing, Numerical Business and J+S.
“There have been huge learning curves with this project as we’re operating in largely unchartered territory (even within the tidal energy industry), and we’ve learnt, and continue to learn, a great deal which will help support future developments of the pod as well as other marine operations.”
“For example, we’ve found certain materials – connectors for instance – designed for offshore subsea operations are not necessarily suited to cope with the highly oxygenated and turbulent near-shore environment we are working in.”
Following on-shore inspection and maintenance, EMEC will re-launch the pod in Spring 2016.