Technical Integrity / Collaboration / Exceptional Results

Marine and Hydrokinetic Energy Development

Marine and Hydrokinetic Energy DevelopmentIntegral staff have served as technical leaders in the development of tools and techniques to improve performance, lower costs, and accelerate the deployment of marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) energy technologies. This project, conducted under contract to Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), involves developing and applying software tools and guidance for the marine renewable energy industry. As part of this effort, successful training and technology transfer has been conducted for industry and regulatory agencies. In addition, a guidance document, five publicly available reports, and multiple peer-reviewed publications have been produced.

Two relevant tools that are under development and use are as follows:

Hydrodynamic Assessment Models: To speed MHK current energy converter (CEC) technologies to deployment, training courses have been developed and conducted for an “MHK friendly” modeling tool, SNL-Environmental Fluid Dynamics Code (EFDC). SNL-EFDC modules and enhancements realistically simulate the hydrodynamic influence/disturbance of CEC devices, sediment dynamics, and water quality. Through focused technical outreach and training, SNL-EFDC is being used by private industry to optimize CEC device placement to maximize power production and minimize potential deleterious environmental effects.

Sediment Stability Risk Mapping, Environmental Evaluation, and Scour Tools: To reduce risk of MHK infrastructure failure, structural over-design, and expensive maintenance and repairs caused by mobile sediment beds and local scour, a tool has been developed for assessing the design of offshore wind turbine array layouts and cable routes. This tool also supports the determination of the ecological risk imposed by the operation of an MHK array.

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