Mrs. Rachael McKee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PhD Student

School of Natural and Built Environment

David Keir Building, Stranmillis Rd., BT9 5AG

Room LG.305

Tel (+44) (0) 28 9097 4751

Email rmckee26@qub.ac.uk

 

Education

MEng (First Class Honours) Civil Engineering, Queen’s University Belfast, 2009-2014

Glenlola Collegiate School, Bangor, 2002-2009

 

Professional qualifications

MIKE 21 Flow Model HD, FM & SW by The Academy by DHI, September 2015

 

Awards

Degree Plus (July 2014) – Recognition for activities undertaken in the development of employability skills beyond the programme of Academic study

International Conference on Ocean Energy (February 2016) Second Poster Award for a Significant Study – Investigating tools used to analyse the impact of a wave farm on the surrounding wave field

Queen’s University Belfast Civil Engineering Travel Scholarship (July 2016) through the Mahsud Dornan Fund.

 

PhD Title

Demonstrate the use of a numerical tool to predict the environmental influence of an array of Oscillating Wave Surge Converters devices

 

PhD Description

This PhD started in September 2014. The aim of this project is to develop a method to predict the environmental impact on the surrounding wave field.

For WECs to be commercially competitive with other renewable energy devices, they will need to be installed as part of an array. Prior to installation, WEC developers will have to gain consent to install their devices into the ocean which is deemed an environmentally sensitive area. The main environmental impacts relating to the operation of a WEC array in the ocean include changing hydrodynamics, introducing noise and collision risk introduced by the presence of obstacles. This project will focus on the changing hydrodynamics. When a stationary submerged object is subject to waves, these waves will be modified by processes known as reflection and diffraction. When a submerged object is dynamic it will produce radiated waves. Therefore while a single WEC device is operating, the incident waves will interact with the modified and radiated waves changing the hydrodynamics. In addition when a WEC array is in operation, the changing hydrodynamics of any one device will influence all neighbouring devices creating array interactions.

As discussed earlier, environmental impacts relating to WECs is device dependent. This study will target Oscillating Wave Surge Converters (OWSCs), with particular interested paid to Aquamarine’s Oyster 800 device. This OWSC is a flap-type device which is connected to the seabed and penetrates the water surface when positioned vertically. It is positioned perpendicular to the incident wave direction. The flap oscillates and therefore extracts energy from the surge component of the waves.

The first stage will be to simulate the environmental impact using a scaled physical model in a wave basin. The parameter measured around the physical model is the velocity of the particles which are travelling in orbits. The measurements will be acquired using an acoustic instrument. This orbital velocity can be used to determine a wave height and direction, which in turn can be used to calculate wave energy.

Then the data collected from the physical modelling will be used to calibrate and validate a numerical model. The most suitable numerical model for this project is a Spectral Wave (SW) model which models energy propagation throughout a domain. This project will use MIKE21 Spectral Wave model which has been created and developed by DHI.

The final stage will be to create a full scale numerical model which can be used to make predictions.

 

Supervisors

Prof. Trevor Whittaker

Dr. Louise Kregting

 

Publications

Design Optimisation of an Attenuator Wave Energy Converter, R. Moore, C. Murtagh, B. Elsaesser, European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference, Nantes, France, 2015.

Wave Farm Representation in the MIKE 21 Spectral Wave Model, R. McKee, B. Elsaesser, L. O'Boyle, L. Kregting, European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference, Cork, Ireland, 2017.

Posters / Presentations

The Impact of an Array of Oscillating Wave Surge Converters on the surrounding Wave Field, R. Moore, B. Elsaesser, International Network on Offshore Renewable Energy European Symposium, Naples, Italy, 2015

Design Optimisation of an Attenuator Wave Energy Converter, R. Moore, C. Murtagh, B. Elsaesser, European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference, Nantes, France, 2015.

Investigating Tools used to Analyse the Impact of a Wave Farm on the surrounding Wave Field, R. Moore, L. O’Boyle, B. Elsaesser, International Conference on Ocean Energy, Edinburgh, UK, 2016

Modelling the effect of a WEC on the far field wave conditions in the nearshore environment, R. McKee, Ports and Terminals Department at DHI, Horsholm, Denmark, 2017.

Wave Farm Representation in the MIKE 21 Spectral Wave Model, R. McKee, B. Elsaesser, L. O'Boyle, L. Kregting, European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference, Cork, Ireland, 2017.

 

Interests

Travelling, Rugby, Music

Nortek’s Vectrino II – an instrument used to measure wave particle velocities in the wave tank
A 40th scale OWSC model with controllable Coulomb damping
The model and Vectrino II in the wave basin