Rockland Scientific and FloWaveTT join forces to improve understanding of tidal turbulence

FloWave and Rockland Scientific join forces to improve understanding of tidal turbulence
Agreement paves way for broader collaboration on measuring turbulence ‘from the lab to the ocean’
(Official News Release – 02 June 2015)
Two of the leading organisations in ocean energy research have pledged to work together to measure and understand the impact of turbulence on wave and tidal energy devices.
FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility at Edinburgh University and Canadian marine turbulence specialists Rockland Scientific will work together to develop tank-scale turbulence measurement technology, which can also be deployed at sea, on both sides of the Atlantic.

Flowave newsThe two firms – which already completed a first round of technology testing in 2014 – announced the collaboration agreement at FloWave today [Tuesday June 2] during an ocean energy trade mission from Nova Scotia organised by Scottish Development International, the international arm of Scottish Enterprise and the Nova Scotia Department of Energy.

flowave news2The mission brings together developers, supply chain companies and R&D organisations from Scotland and Canada, with the aim of encouraging and supporting closer trans-Atlantic collaboration on marine renewable energy technologies and projects.

“The accurate measurement and understanding turbulence, and particularly its impact on structures and performance, is a vital part of designing and deploying any wave or tidal technology”, says FloWave Chief Executive Officer Stuart Brown.

“To date, the techniques for measuring turbulence in the laboratory have been very different to those adopted at sea, making like-for-like comparisons from one environment to the other more difficult. At FloWave we have already completed valuable turbulence characterisation work with Rockland Scientific – specifically bringing their ocean-going instrument into the laboratory at FloWave back in 2014.

“This new agreement allows the partners to build on that pioneering work to deliver transferable turbulence measurement solutions that enable all parties to dramatically improve their understanding of turbulence in fast tidal currents. That this translates across the scales from test tank model scale to full scale installations in the real environment directly addresses industry challenges such as device design for performance and reliability, accurate energy yield prediction for individual devices and the optimization of array project layouts; all of which are key parameters for the technical and flowave news3commercial feasibility of tidal energy conversion projects,” Brown concludes

Commenting on the agreement Rockland Scientific Business Development Director Jeremy Hancyk said:

“The 2014 proof-of-concept demonstration of Rockland Scientific’s field instrumentation in the FloWave tidal tank was just the beginning. This formal collaboration agreement with FloWave, supported by Innovate UK and Canadian funding agencies, leverages our complementary expertise to accelerate the further development of Rockland Scientific’s turbulence measurement technology to smaller footprint, higher spatial resolution laboratory installations.”

Commenting on the collaboration John McGinnes from SDI said:

“Scotland and Canada are both making tremendous strides towards the commercialisation of tidal energy technologies and this trade mission is helping to bring both sides of the Atlantic get together to address sectoral challenges and drive the industry forward. We look forward to more collaborations between Canadian and Scottish companies in the future.”

flowave news4

Summer Internship – Sciences Without Borders

VICTORIA, CANADA June 23, 2014 – Rockland Scientific is pleased present the interim results of our first summer internship from the Borders (SWB) program.  Through this bi-lateral exchange program between Canada and Brazil, Rockland has brought Carolina Machado Lima de Camargo onto the oceanographic team to assist in customer service and in-house applied research programs.

Carolina is a full-time undergraduate student of the Institute of Oceanography at the Federal University of Rio Grande in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.  Through the Sciences Without Borders program, she attended two academic terms in the Ocean Sciences Program at the University of British Columbia.  Upon completing the academic portion of the exchange program, participants in the Sciences Without Borders program are encouraged to engage in a summer internship that provides real-world experience working day-to-day in an institution or private sector company in their respective discipline.  Carolina expressed a strong interest in the field of physical oceanography and reached out to Rockland in the final months of her last term.  Her experience, enthusiasm and mathematical aptitude were immediately recognized as a perfect fit and she was asked to move to Victoria to work at the Rockland facility for the summer.

To make this internship valuable to both Rockland and Carolina, both parties collaboratively constructed a work-plan and set of goals and objectives for her three months at Rockland.  So far Carolina’s responsibilities have included operational activities directed by Dr. Rolf Lueck, Rockland’s Vice President of Science and Technology.  The first several weeks of Carolina’s work involved training and education on turbulence theory as well as the design and operation of Rockland turbulence instrumentation.  With this knowledge, Carolina was then able to support customer service cases in the areas of deployment methodology and data processing and analysis.  Carolina also took the initiative to translate the Vertical Microstructure Profiler (VMP-250) manual into Portuguese for the purpose of supporting instrument users in Brazil who may not have a strong understanding of English, the language in which all information has been historically documented.

turbulence and estuarine mixing with Rockland instrumentation.  Carolina performed the background work to develop a suitable research question and hypothesis to conduct her investigation: Do tides create turbulence kinetic energy dissipation, i.e. vertical mixing, over the sill in Saanich Inlet, a fjord estuary in south-western Vancouver Island.  Carolina then designed the experimental methodology and field-work plan; heading out to sea on June 16, 2014 to acquire data.  The next step in Carolina’s work is to post-process and analyze the data collected, ultimately testing her hypothesis and summarizing her findings in a scientific poster.  The abstract for this poster has been submitted to the scientific committee for the Physics in Estuaries and Coastal Seas (PECS) conference being held in Porto de Galinhas, PE, Brazil this October. The conference organizers, delegates and Rockland share the same goal of attracting young scientists to careers in physical oceanography with a focus in estuarine and coastal systems.   This would be an excellent opportunity for Carolina as PECS is a forum where junior scientists can feel comfortable presenting and testing ideas with constructive feedback from experienced academics in this discipline.

Carolina has been an asset to Rockland this summer and will bring back a wealth of experience on turbulence measurement theory and practice to IO-FURG upon her return. Carolina’s involvement at Rockland as a summer intern in the Sciences Without Borders exemplifies a win-win-win situation from the perspectives of student, university and private company.  IO-FURG will engage in the first turbulence measurement studies in Brazil with velocity shear probe based profilers and plan to host an extension course on ocean turbulence this December. In addition to further strengthening the relationship between Rockland and IO-FURG, this first summer internship experience has exceeded expectations, which is encouraging for future students to engage in summer internships with Rockland.

 

 

Scotland to Study Turbulence for Tidal Industry with Rockland Equipment

The Marine Executive reports that Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has announced that the Scottish Government’s Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund (MRCF) Array Technology Innovation Programme has made an award to a team of marine experts – to undertake a research project on Turbulence in Marine Environments (TIME) for measuring and evaluating turbulent effects in tidal arrays in Scottish Waters. This MRCF project will be managed by the Carbon Trust.

The team of UK experts is led by marine data acquisition company Partrac, with ABPmer undertaking resource characterisation, Ocean Array Systems providing turbulence and hydrodynamic analyses, and IT Power contributing their knowledge of engineering design and device performance. Innovative turbulence measurement instruments are being utilised from Rockland Scientific International in Canada.

Read the full article in Marine Executive …

Uprising VMP-250 Profiler System for University of Bergen Norway

Rockland Scientific has been awarded a contract to deliver a VMP-250 Turbulence Profiler to the University of Bergen, Norway. The VMP-250 system includes a buoyancy collar and remote-controlled weight release mechanism, allowing the profiler to be operated in an uprising configuration.

University of Bergen researcher Dr. Ilker Fer, will deploy the VMP-250 during the Arctic summer 2014 to measure turbulence and mixing under drifting sea ice, as part of the project “On Thin Ice: Role of Ocean Heat Flux in Sea Ice Melt” funded by the Research Council of Norway. The objective of the project is to study the effect of vertical mixing on the heat budget and ice cover of the Arctic Ocean. For more information on the project, see Ilker Fer’s website.

A video showing the deployment cycle of the VMP-250 Upriser is available on Rockland’s YouTube channel: