The Integrated Solution for offshore Tocardo Tidal power plants (InToTidal) project focuses on delivering cost effective installation and service methods for tidal energy.
Phase 1 of the InToTidal project aimed to develop and demonstrate the Tocardo Floating Tidal Platform (TFS). The surface-based floating foundation enabled low-cost easy access to the tidal turbines for maintenance with all installation and service operations being undertaken by small readily available vessels.
January 2017 saw the beginning of operations for the TFS installation with successful drag tests and site surveys, followed shortly after by mooring installations. In March 2017, the TFS was installed at EMEC’s Fall of Warness Tidal Test Site along with cable lay and splice operations. The TFS successfully proved the seaworthiness of the turbines following a range of testing campaigns at the test site in extreme conditions. On completion of testing, the TFS was recovered from site in late December 2017, and the site was cleared early 2018.
As part of the project, EMEC designed a bespoke acoustic survey capable of measuring the acoustic emissions of a series of marine works across a range of spatial scales. The survey was designed to allow the accurate measurement of the baseline soundscape of the site, and the peak and averaged noise levels of the marine operations, as well as to provide some information about the propagation of the sounds produced throughout the site. The survey design will be applicable to a range of other future significant marine operations at EMEC during which the measurement of noise is important.
Phase 2 of the InToTidal project focused on delivering cost effective installation and service methods for tidal energy through:
- Design and fabrication of low-cost rock anchor drill rig
- Installing and validating low-cost anchoring systems
- Utilising experience and knowledge to develop large scale implementation methods
During the project Leask Marine purchased Raptor Anchoring Ltd, the specialist manufacturers of the Raptor rock anchoring systems, to strengthen their service offer as a leading supply chain company to the marine industry. Raptor Anchoring designs and manufactures rock and screw anchors for subsea, onshore and civil engineering applications. The purchase was part Leask’s development strategy to further enhance its services to the marine renewables and other marine sectors. To this end Leask Marine have since developed the Raptor Anchoring Ltd’s range of anchors which have been a result of 40 years’ experience in the drilling and anchoring industry, coupled with Leask Marine’s latest technology and computer aided designing. The unique designs enables remote installation and tensioning and they deliver a low carbon mechanical solution to seabed anchoring and eliminate the need for grout or resins.
For the InToTidal project the following products were designed and developed:
- RAPTOR Strataloc Anchor – available in 300mm & 600mm diameter up to 6m in length
- RAPTOR G.A.P Core Anchor – available in 300mm/600mm/800mm diameter up to 6m in length
- RAPTOR G.A.P Tricone Anchor – available in 300mm & 600mm diameter up to 6m in length
Manufactured from high grade corrosion resistant materials the Raptor Anchors can be completely removed for decommissioning or re-use.
After exhaustive research and discussions with potential partners the consortium partners were unable to source a low-cost drilling solution that would meet the project and market needs as all explored options were cost prohibitive. The requirement was for a submersible drilling rig that could be operated off medium sized workboats or pontoons to alleviate the need for jack-up barges or drilling ships.
Leask Marine then took the bold step to design and build the solution for the project and the market, and launched the Raptor S.D.R. (submersible drill rig) at the All Energy Show in Glasgow in 2019 with the consortium partners.
The characteristics of the SDR are:
- Innovative design
- Containerised in 40ft open-top for international transportation
- Self-levelling feet
- Retractable legs for storage & transportation
- Maximum weight 30 tons
- Designed to operate in tidal flow of 8 knots
- Installation of mechanical or grouted ground anchors
- No commercial diver or ROV requirements
- Customised LARS frame
- Work off any type of vessel or barge which meets the required deck space and lifting capacity
- Designed for drilling on rock
“The InToTidal project and the work at EMEC has been an important step in de-risking and improving a range of offshore marine power technologies.
Leask Marine Ltd’s benchmark is to remain as a world leader in marine infrastructure technologies to produce a one-stop-shop for low-cost supply chain solutions to the offshore marine energy sector. To be able to achieve this, the marine energy sector needs to be enabled to increase the installed volume of equipment at a low-cost for our international clients to compete in the renewable energy sector.”
LEASK MARINE LTD
The European Commission’s research and innovation programme Horizon 2020 has granted €2.6million for the InToTidal project.
Key Innovation Areas
- Tocardo turbine energy production enhancements validated through full scale monitoring and independent verification;
- Low-load mooring system;
- Low-cost anchoring solutions;
- Subsea dynamic umbilical; and
- Installation and service operations.
Testing and Validation
Whilst initial testing was done using Tocardo’s tidal turbines, the turbine systems were being designed to act as a generic solution for tidal energy production.
The Submersible Drilling Rig and Raptor rock anchoring systems will continue to be tested at EMEC in 2020. The results will feed into the design and development of the bespoke range of anchoring systems and equipment. There is a great deal of international interest in the results of the InToTidal project works, and the benefits of low-cost anchoring and mooring solutions is high on the priorities of the next generation of marine renewable energy developers wishing to develop arrays of floating devices.
Leask marine’s partnership for the project is with:
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 730628.