Project Summary: InSTREAM

InSTREAM is a research consortium, led by Rockland, comprises six commercial and academic entities in the UK and Canada. The consortium was formed to carry out a three-year R&D project titled In situ Turbulence Replication Evaluation And Measurement (InSTREAM).

The objectives of the InSTREAM project are to develop a set of sensors and methods that can be used at tidal energy sites as well as laboratory-scale simulators, and measure turbulence over a wide range of temporal     and spatial scales to capture time-averaged turbulence quantities as well as turbulent intermittency. The latter is important for understanding occurrence rates of extreme loading events. The flow through  tidal   passages   is,   by   nature,   extremely   turbulent   and   this   flow   speed   variability affects the reliability and efficiency of  energy  extraction  and  the  operational  risks  for  in-stream  turbines. The accurate measurement and numerical modeling of turbulence for these conditions is, therefore, important for designing and deploying any tidal technology and assessing the risk and cost of operation.

InSTREAM is co-funded by the Offshore Energy Research Association; a Nova Scotia based not-for-profit research group, and Innovate UK, a government-funded business and innovation organization.  The Government of Canada (NRC-IRAP) has provided additional funding to the Canadian partners while in Europe; the project was recently given the prestigious EUREKA label designation.

InSTREAM will feature a sensor system that combines standard flow measurement technology (i.e., acoustic  and electro-magnetic) with novel non-acoustic measurement technology (i.e., shear probes) to  create  a  system that is useful for turbulence observations in both laboratory and field applications. The system will be deployed at three sites: at the (1) FloWaveTT Energy Research Facility in Edinburgh to test and validate the laboratory configuration; (2) EMEC’s Fall-of-Warness site as a first field location; (3) at the FORCE Minas  Passage site as the second field  location.

In terms of instrumentation,  the  InSTREAM  addresses  shortcomings  of  existing  measurement  technology  to reliably and consistently resolve high-wave number turbulent velocity scales, in  laboratory  and tidal  channel  settings.  The  InSTREAM  deployment  methodology  allows  “real-world”  field  measurements  to be down-translated to tank-scale measurements  and vice-versa, providing     developers     and manufacturers the ability to evaluate dynamic behaviour of sites and turbine designs at model scale and full scale. The results from this applied research project address technical challenges that ultimately reduce uncertainties in site design, yield assessments, and device design, leading to improved cost structure and   access to financing by reducing economic risk.