Sector: Renewable Energy
Edinburgh-based Aquamarine Power have designed and built Oyster®, a prototype hydro-electric wave power converter. This is a nearshore device that harnesses the energy in the waves to produce a flow of pressurised seawater, which is then used in a shore based turbine to generate electricity.
Aquamarine Power consulted a number of companies and organisations on the design of Oyster® including specialists in hydrodynamics, geotechnics, hydraulics and structural engineering. The Resource Centre for Innovation & Design (RCID) worked on the detailed design of the flap and subframe structure under extreme sea loads and, particularly, to assess the resistance to long-term fatigue.
Oyster®’s nearshore location and connection to the seabed presented a number of challenges to the design of the device. The RCID carried out detailed finite element analyses to take account of variations in seabed rock stiffness and operating mode. Detailed analysis of major bolted and welded connections was required. This was complicated because the major load paths were complex and variable depending on site conditions.
After several iterations of the wave and cylinder loading environments, design changes and analysis refinement, third party approval of the entire design package of Oyster® has now been achieved. Oyster® and its foundations have now been fully fabricated, ready for full testing at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.
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