The European Marine Energy Centre has now recovered their seabed “pod” designed to measure a number of parameters in tidal flows, which will provide information about potential interactions between marine energy devices and marine wildlife. The organization will carry out further inspections and enhancements prior to redeployment in spring 2016.
EMEC was awarded a share of the Scottish government’s Marine Renewables Commercialization Fund (MRCF) in 2014 to further the development of its “integrated site characterization and measurement platform.”
The customized system, designed by EMEC to operate in high velocity marine hydrokinetic (MHK) tidal flows, integrates a variety of sensors to undertake comprehensive concurrent environmental measurements, providing improved characterization of high energy marine environments.
The MHK pod is set up as a plug-and-play prototype with the ability to install additional sensors as required, with future development focused on supporting data collection at commercial marine energy array projects.
Published reports indicate EMEC managing director Neil Kermode said, “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 in which we are working.”