MaRINET, the Marine Renewables Infrastructure Network, was a network of research centres and organisations working together to accelerate the development of marine renewable energy technologies - wave, tidal & offshore-wind. The first phase was co-financed by the European Commission specifically to enhance integration and utilisation of European marine renewable energy research infrastructures and expertise. MaRINET offered periods of free-of-charge access to world-class R&D facilities & expertise and conducted joint activities in parallel to standardise testing, improve testing capabilities and enhance training & networking. MaRINET ran for four and a half years and ended in September 2015.
MaRINET2, the follow-up to the successful MaRINET project, was launched end of 2016 and will run for 4.5 years. Activities proposed under MaRINET2 will include 39 partners in 13 countries with 57 facilities. The Marine Research Group are QUB is again offering access to the Portaferry Wave Basin and field test sites. Check the website for more information.
Examples of experiments run at QUB under MaRINET are given below.
The testing was carried out at Queen’s University Belfast’s Portaferry Wave Basin in order to investigate survival and mooring design. A scale ratio of 1:80 was chosen to resemble the 45 meter deep water of the central part of the North Sea and the survival wave heights of Hs=12m and periods Tz=12s. The 3m long scale model corresponds to a 240m long attenuator.
Wavetube has successfully undergone stage 1 proof of concept activities. The model tests subject to the project herein have been performed in Queen’s University Belfast’s Portaferry Wave Basin. A prototype of scale 1:25 has been used during tank tests. The main objectives were to study the hydrodynamic properties of the WEC and optimise the PTO system in different wave climates.
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The CyanWave WEC concept is based on the principle of multi-reservoir overtopping and the latest design was tested for both global loads in extreme seas and overtopping performance at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) with 53 separate tests being carried out. In order to test global wave loads, the 1:68 scale stainless steel model was attached along the central base to two 6 DOF load cells at the front and rear.
The results were subsequently processed to produce resultant forces in the horizontal and vertical directions acting through a chosen reference point, as well as pitching moment. JONSWAP spectral extreme seas were tested with the most energetic being Hs = 14m and Tp = 18s.
QUB and MINESTO SA undertook detailed flow characterisation work at the QUB tidal test site in Portaferry. High spatial resolution was achieved using QUB’s Nortek Aquadopp Profiler. High temporal resolution measurements were performed at the same time using a Nortek Vector Velocimetre. The spatially and temporally highly resolved flow data allows MINESTO to correlate device performance and loading with ambient flow conditions. This high quality field data will also serve to improve comparisons with experimental tank testing, boundary conditions for numerical simulations and optimisation of control strategies.
The noise assessment undertaken was the first time ever the characteristics of the noise emissions of a kite system were measured in field conditions. Besides environmental aspects like the impact on local fauna, the obtained data might also be used to develop sound based monitoring systems.
SCHOTTEL successfully tested its Hydrokinetic Turbines during a 10 week testing campaign at the QUB tidal test centre in Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland. The site offers an ideal testing environment for “small” tidal turbines using a vessel-mounted setup. The full-scale tests included 288 operating hours under realistic and highly turbulent conditions, resulting in an expansive and highly valuable data set.
For the trial SCHOTTEL attached the turbine with a rotor diameter of four meters to a moored barge. It was mounted on a lifting frame at the stern and lowered down into the operating position for testing. Additionally, the barge was equipped with a large range of measurement devices and sensors to monitor the test results. The turbine shaft rotations, torque and power output were recorded for use in the performance assessment. Load cells measured the resulting thrust force, while detailed measurements of flow conditions were also taken. The testing method and characterisation of turbine performance have been developed according to the latest standards of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The result: the turbine with a rotor diameter of four meters proved both its reliability, as well it´s performance, in the field.