Gathering data for floating tidal energy platforms at Bay of Fundy

The EcoSPRAY platform tidal energy assessment tool was deployed earlier this year in the Outer Bay of Fundy, in the Grand Passage, Nova Scotia. It is part of a Natural Resource Canada ecoEnergy Innovation Initiative-funded project and will simulate how a moored floating tidal energy platform behaves in a highly turbulent marine environment.

EcoSPRAY is equipped with a drag plate intended to simulate the thrust created by an underwater turbine. It uses software and equipment to measure motion, mooring line loads, wind speeds, tidal currents and wave conditions.

Led by Dr. Richard Karsten of Acadia University, researchers and scientists will use numerical models and innovative oceanographic monitoring methods to analyze data from EcoSPRAY.

The research is designed to help reduce the cost of instream tidal energy through the development of comprehensive site assessment methods and technologies.

According to Dynamic Systems Analysis Ltd. (DSA), it is a Canadian company that develops hydrodynamic, mechanical and marine dynamic analysis software. The company said it collaborated with local suppliers and Fundy Tidal Inc. to design and build the EcoSPRAY platform.

Fundy Tidal is involved the the development of five tidal power projects through the Nova Scotia small-scale tidal community feed-in tariff (COMFIT) program. The projects include: Digby Gut — 1.95 MW; 500 kW, one each in Grand Passage and Petit Passage; and Cape Breton — 100 kW in Barra Strait and 500 kW in Great Bras d’Or Channel.

EcoSPRAY is named after the Spray, the vessel Joshua Slocum used from July 3, 1895, to June 27, 1898, to became the first man to single-handedly sail around the world. Slocum spent a portion of his childhood growing up in Westport.

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Gregory B. Poindexter formerly was an associate editor for HydroWorld.com.

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