Tidal stream energy is one of the last untapped sources of renewable energy capable of providing industrial levels of renewable grid power. The sector is on the brink of industrial take off, but being held back by the sheer technological challenge of operating in high speed
Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) are the (acoustic) ears and (video) eyes of offshore construction operations, and are widely used in a wider range of observational and working roles, including in oil & gas and offshore wind. Conventional ROVs are not, however, designed to operate at current speeds above 1.5 to 2.0 m/s and in practice struggle at current speeds above 1.0 m/s.
IKM Subsea and Mo-Jo have joined forces in development of a new revolutionizing ROV system especially adapted to work and operate in tidal currents. ROV operation in tidal currents requires system capabilities exceeding state of art of existing ROV technology.The principal aim of the project is to develop a novel and unique WROV design for operation in unconventional tidal energy environments.
IKM will expand the existing Merlin Technology to enable the above criteria, and will thus revolutionize the ROV operation/ capabilities in relation to maintenance and intervention of tidal power stations.
The cornerstone of the Merlin technology is frequency-controlled electrical propulsion applications. This technology enables direct hard-wired electric propulsion with unsurpassed reliability and efficiency. The technology is a result of multidiscipline engineering and product development from various IKM companies, such as electrical engineering, instrumentation and subsea design. The WROV technology was firstly presented in year 2000 as a trencher application.
This technology in combination with products from some of the most renowned subsuppliers in the market has enabled IKM to make a significant leap forward in WROV technology.
The principal aim of the project is to develop a novel and unique WROV design for operation in unconventional tidal energy environments. Such a system will be used to support the innovative, HF4 vessel design.The design must incorporate similar payload, sensor, manipulator and tooling capabilities as a more conventional work class ROV, with a considerable reduction in structural drag (and hence projected CSA), mass and an increase in thrust capacity. The aim of this project is to achieve these requirements through a series of research objectives:
- Design/ Optimization of thruster system
- Design of the buoyancy and structural materials for operation in shallow water depths.
- Optimisation of the TMS for use in tidal currents.
- Operability and stability of the ROV will be increased.
- Dedicated ROV teams, trained and practised