A new mooring, anchoring and quick connect solution for marine energy systems is set to begin Atlantic sea trials. The €3.7 million ($4.5 million) UMACK (Universal Mooring, Anchor & Connectivity Kit) Project has developed a mooring and anchoring solution aimed at superseding widely used “gravity-based” anchor solutions.
UMACK Project Manager and CorPower Ocean Head of Projects Matt Dickson said the technology is being developed as a universal and adaptable solution for a broad range of marine energy applications and seabed types.
The UMACK project has been designed to:
- Reduce CAPEX, installation, and operations and maintenance costs by more than 50%;
- Improve the reliable operation of ocean energy devices in the harshest ocean conditions;
- Remove the need for dive support and streamline marine operations and vessel requirements with the quick-connect solution, which is fully surface operated;
- Ease the installation and retrieval of marine energy devices while maximizing operational windows.
On-land anchor testing is under way at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy System in cooperation with the Test Centre for Support Structures of the Leibniz University of Hannover.
The final phase of the UMACK project will demonstrate the UMACK solution integrated with CorPower Ocean’s C4 Wave Energy Converter (WEC) in real ocean operating conditions. The company’s full-scale WEC demonstration program HiWave-5 runs in parallel with the UMACK project, with the first full-scale system scheduled for ocean deployment toward the end of 2021. CorPower’s WECs take the form of heaving buoys that float on the water surface absorbing energy from ocean waves, while connected to the sea floor via the UMACK system.
“The project is aiming to demonstrate how improved strategies and reduced downtime afforded by the novel UMACK system can decrease LCOE (Levelized Cost Of Electricity) for a broad range of marine energy platforms,” Dickson said.
The UMACK Project is led by a European consortium including geotechnical specialist Ternan Energy, wave and tidal energy developers CorPower Ocean and Sustainable Marine Energy Limited, mooring specialists TTI Marine Renewables, EMEC (European Marine Energy Centre) and marine renewable energy modelling specialists from the University of Edinburgh.
“Mooring solutions continue to present significant challenges across the marine energy industry. The UMACK consortium has joined forces to develop a more efficient and cost-effect solution which can be shared universally, benefiting not only wave and tidal, but extending to other areas such as floating offshore wind,” said Ternan Energy Geotechnical Engineer Catriona Macdonald.
UMACK is funded by Scottish Enterprise and the Swedish Energy Agency, with co-funding from the OCEANERA-NET COFUND (via the European Commission under Horizon 2020).