Investigating flow field characteristics around Artificial reefs (Reef Cube®)
Dr Amir Bordbar (University of Plymouth)
Globally, marine ecosystem degradation and fish population overexploitation have resulted in significant marine biodiversity loss. Artificial reefs, designed to bolster oceanic habitats by serving as shelter, spawning grounds, and feeding areas, play a pivotal role in mimicking natural reef environments for marine conservation and habitat restoration.
In Torbay, United Kingdom, Reef Cubes®, innovative artificial reef units created by ARC Marine, undergo deployment and testing to assess their impact on enhancing marine biodiversity.
Simultaneously, the University of Plymouth is conducting numerical investigations into flow field characteristics both around and within these structures. Various configurations and orientations are explored to identify the most suitable structures in terms of flow velocities for marine organisms and assess the positional stability of these cubes. This research aims to optimize the artificial reef environment for marine life.
Exploring the Integrated Aero-Hydro-Mooring Dynamics of a 15MW Floating Offshore Wind Turbine in Complex Marine Environments
Dr Zaibin Lin (University of Aberdeen)
The UK government has set an ambitious target to increase offshore wind capacity from 12.7GW in 2022 to 50GW by 2030, with an additional 5GW from floating wind installations. However, the limited availability of shallow water sites with sustainable wind resources requires exploring deeper waters using floating substructures. This project aims to advance the offshore wind industry by addressing the complex dynamics of Floating Offshore Wind Turbines (FOWTs). With a 15MW capacity and 115.5-meter-long blades, the latest FOWT design presents significant aerodynamic, hydrodynamic, and mooring challenges. Supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/T004150/1), the UK, a high-fidelity multi-region overset mesh model has been implemented for the fully coupled aero-hydro-mooring FOWT assessment. Employing advanced computational simulations on the HPE Cray EX supercomputing system in the UK – ARCHER2, this cutting-edge approach offers insight into the intricate dynamics of 15MW FOWTs in marine environments. Our research promises far-reaching benefits for both academic and industrial communities engaged in FOWTs. Our findings will optimise design and deployment strategies by providing accurate assessments of performance, stability, and survivability, thereby strengthening the UK’s world-leading position in the offshore wind sector and supporting the nation’s sustainable energy transition. In essence, the high-fidelity model will unlock the full potential of offshore wind energy, facilitating a cleaner and more sustainable future for the UK and inspiring global advancements.
Dr Hao Chen (Newcastle University)
Harnessing the immense potential of wave energy for a sustainable future drives the wave energy converter (WEC) community. However, wave energy farms, consisting of multiple point absorbers that convert wave motion into electricity, face complex challenges. This project aims to enhance the performance of WEC arrays through advanced computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation. The interactions between devices and the surrounding fluid profoundly impact the array’s overall performance. To tackle these challenges, a state-of-the-art CFD solver will be developed within the OpenFOAM library to model multiple WECs within a wave energy farm. Leveraging the powerful ARCHER2 High-Performance Computing system, the project will conduct large-scale simulations, exploring arrays composed of several WECs in ocean waves. By investigating various layouts and studying nonlinear interactions between waves and floating bodies, the goal is to optimize power production and maximize array performance.
The project’s outcomes will provide valuable insights and guidelines for designing efficient wave energy farms. The team will freely share post-processed numerical data sets with academic and industrial communities, fostering innovation in renewable energy technologies. Moreover, the findings will be disseminated through high-impact publications, driving progress in the wave energy sector. This research is a significant step toward realizing the full potential of wave energy and advancing our sustainable energy future.
Multi-fidelity modelling of wave-structure interaction in floating wind turbines
Dr Ajay Bangalore Harish (University of Manchester) – www.ajaylab.co.uk
In this project, we aim to develop a powerful digital tool called a multi-fidelity wave flume and basin that will help design floating wind turbine structures used in harnessing clean energy from ocean waves. Currently, the UK is a major player in offshore wind energy, and the demand for innovative floating turbines is growing rapidly. However, designing these structures to withstand harsh marine conditions is challenging and expensive. Our solution involves using computer simulations to model wave behaviour and its impact on the floating turbines. We will combine two types of simulations—one that is faster but less accurate and another that is slower but more accurate—to create a digital model that is both cost-effective and precise. This will greatly improve the efficiency and safety of floating wind turbine designs, contributing to the UK’s renewable energy goals and creating job opportunities in the industry. To achieve this, we will leverage the ARCHER2 supercomputer, which provides the computing power necessary for our advanced simulations, benefiting the research community and accelerating the development of these cutting-edge tools.
Power extraction from resonant wave energy systems
Christopher Wakefield (Heriot-Watt University)
Mocean Energy Ltd are an Edinburgh-based company developing wave energy converters (WECs) to extract energy from ocean waves and convert this into electrical energy. The company utilises optimisation algorithms to generate devices that provide the optimal solution to a given set of design requirements. This optimisation process generated a device geometry featuring inclined channels on either end of the deice. These “wave channels” resulted in a design which exhibits (and is capable of exploiting) a form of wave resonance within the channels. This project seeks to identify the hydrodynamic mechanism that is the source of this phenomenon. The project involves numerical and computational investigation to gain a deeper understanding of the mechanisms that underpin this resonance.