Design tools to help install large-scale ocean energy arrays

Engineers are to create a suite of software to enable the design of ocean energy arrays.

The initiative will draw on world-leading research and development expertise from partners across Europe to enable open-sea installation of multiple arrangements of tidal stream and wave energy technologies.

The project, known as Optimal Design Tools for Ocean Energy Arrays (DTOcean), was welcomed by Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond today at the Ocean Energy Europe 2013 conference at Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh.

DTOcean comprises a consortium of 18 international partners from 11 countries. These include research institutes, supply chain representatives and project developers, and will be led by the University of Edinburgh.

The Euro 6 million project, funded by the European Commission, will take a whole system approach, in which software will be designed to provide information needed for project developers to make informed choices when installing devices within arrays.

In a keynote address at the event, the First Minister said: “Scotland’s huge offshore renewable energy resources continue to be matched by its R&D excellence in this sector. And the University of Edinburgh is renowned for the quality of its research and innovation, including its key role in pioneering ocean energy technology since the 1970s when Professor Stephen Salter and his team developed the ‘Duck’ wave power generator.

“I warmly welcome the European Commission’s commitment to the DTOcean project and congratulate those who have brought together such as diverse range of expertise from across the continent to launch this latest initiative. This will play an important part in supporting the industry’s moves towards larger-scale deployment of marine energy technologies.”

Henry Jeffrey of the University of Edinburgh’s Policy and Innovation Group, who will lead the consortium, said: “It is crucial to understand the influence of the various parameters effecting the global development of ocean energy devices, as the main drivers for their progress will be performance and reliability which underpin the cost of energy.”