Energy absorbing mooring systems: Risk-based investigation for high intensity typhoon conditions in China (MoTyph)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Exeter
Department Name: Engineering Computer Science and Maths

Abstract

Wave energy technology in China could potentially contribute 13GW of installed power to the country's energy
needs with particular benefit to coastal regions that have limited local energy resources. Commercial wave
energy development in China is hampered by low wave power density levels between 2-7kW/m, an order of
magnitude less than the UK, yet suffers on average from more than 10 high intensity typhoon events a year,
causing extreme wind and wave conditions. This project aims to address the survivability of wave energy converters in Chinese waters during reoccurring high intensity typhoons. The research will explore the development of cost-effective mooring systems.

Planned Impact

The proposed research will directly benefit Chinese wave energy developers in their effort to design the most
cost-efficient, yet reliable systems possible in conditions of tropical cyclones. Specific stakeholder workshops
open to device developers and other interested parties are planned to establish a pathway to impact. If the
proposed research is successful, it will make wave technology in regions exposed to tropical cyclones more cost effective.
It also holds potential for applications in other areas (e.g. floating tidal or fish aquacultures). The
anticipated typhoon risk maps may benefit companies as well as the wider general public utilising or visiting
Chinese waters in reducing their likelihood of typhoon exposure. Finally, the work will benefit UK plc through
exports in technology and expertise.

Journal papers and conference contributions will increase the influence of the research.

To explore and enable further collaboration between the UK and China both teams, and the teams of other feasibility projects funded by this call, propose to align project specific meetings with workshops involving other research groups. Potential options that will be explored include the existing Oxford Tidal Energy Workshop is (typically around end March / early April) and the PRIMARE research workshop (tbc). This represents a forum for technical discussion of preliminary findings; Chinese partners are invited. An earlier workshop is also proposed in China to enable discussion of feasibility project progress and explore wider collaboration opportunities.

Publications


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Thies P (2015) Component reliability test approaches for marine renewable energy in Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part O: Journal of Risk and Reliability


 
Description Wave energy technology in China could potentially contribute 13GW of installed power to the country's energy needs with particular benefit to coastal regions that have limited local energy resources. Commercial wave energy development in China is hampered by low wave power density levels between 2-7kW/m, an order of magnitude less than the UK, yet suffers on average from more than 10 high intensity typhoon events a year, causing extreme wind and wave conditions.

The collaborative research has quantified the engineering design envelope for typhoon conditions at the Danwanshan Island test site in China. The numerical modelling of a generic, heaving point absorber buoy compared the performance characteristics and mooring loads for conventional and novel mooring designs. The approach explored ideal, theoretical mooring behaviour, as well as practicable achievable behaviour. The physical testing has demonstrated the feasibility of such novel mooring systems to reduce the peak mooring loads in typhoon storm conditions, whilst not hindering the operational performance of the device. The physical tests have also improved and validated the numerical modelling of novel mooring concepts.

The project has successfully established the research collaboration between the three partner institutions and associated researches, leading to continued research work, joint publications and collaborative funding applications.
Exploitation Route Information on typhoon occurrence may be used by other users (e.g. shipping industry, environmental researchers).

Validated mooring performance is valuable for mooring developers and marine design engineers in order to potentially reduce peak and fatigue loads.

Measured motion tracking can be used to characterise and model the mooring performance.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy
URL https://ore.exeter.ac.uk/repository/handle/10871/17665
 
Description The results of this project have been used by the National Ocean Technology Center in China to inform the feasibility of marine renewable energy test sites. They also informed offshore engineers and naval architects about the possibility and extent to which extreme mooring loads may be mitigated through novel mooring components. The demonstrated feasibility of novel mooring systems has lead to joint industry project efforts with offshore wind developers, such as MingYang Wind Power. The research results were presented at the Department for International Trade (DIT) 'Powering The Future event' in Shanghai, China on 23/09/2016. Most recently the results have been used to progress UK-China marine energy collaborations as part of a China-Britain Business Council organised mission to marine energy test sites in China, during 15/02-17/02/2017.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy
Impact Types Economic,Policy & public services
 
Title Motion capture of mooring lines 
Description The purchase of a moton tracking system to enhance the experimental tests on mooring lines allows a new field of research tests that allow to infer the 3D position of any test sample during the experimental testing. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Improved test methods to instrument and measure during experimental testing. Increased capability to validate software models through detailed monitoring of experimental behaviour. 
 
Title Tharmal imaging 
Description Purchase and extensive use of themral image camera have enbaled the enhanced investigation of test samples that are undergoing accelerated component tests. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Improved capability for thermal imaging of test specimens that are under test for offshore energy applications. This opens up the enhanced investigation of mooring line dgradation and failure mechnisms due to friction effects. 
 
Description NOTC - State Oceanic Administration 
Organisation National Ocean Technology Center NOTC, China
Country China, People's Republic of 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Detailed mooring analysis, Feasibility of novel systems for Chinese test sites
Collaborator Contribution Provision of detailed marine test site information, including
Impact Detailed feasibility study report. Redesign of envisaged installations. The National Ocean Technology Center informs the State Oceanic Administration on matters of Renewable Energy.
Start Year 2014
 
Description SCSIO 
Organisation State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography
Country China, People's Republic of 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Hydrodynamic Load analysis for floating marine energy devices during Typhoon Events
Collaborator Contribution Provision of expertise and data of typhoon events in South China Sea
Impact Detailed technical report on typhoon frequencies and load impacts / mitigation for marine energy devices Identified new area of research - Algae bloom potentially caused by wave activity.
Start Year 2014
 
Description BBC Radio Cornwall Interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact BBC Radio Cornwall had a thematic week around water and wanted a research story on marine renewable energy. They interested to hear about the ongoing research with Chinese collaborators in Cornwall and broadcasted a 2:30 minute piece on the 2nd November 2015.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0356487#play
 
Description BBC Radio intefview Conference June 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact BBD Radio Cornwall approached me to report on an international conference that was to be held at Penryn Campus. They were keen to report on international reach and international visitors of Cornwall in light of the marine renewable industry. They broadcasted 2min piece on 16th June during breakfast radio.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Beijing collaborative workshop (UK-China) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact 15 academics attended an international collaborative workshop titled "China-UK Collaborative Workshop: Marine Renewable Energy", comprising UK and Chinese instititions outside the funded award in order to scope and develop the collaborative research interests. Workshop was held in Beijing, China, 16th -18th March 2015 and initiated several pathways for further collaborations that are being explored.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description British Embassy Marine Energy Mission - China 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The British Embassy (Beijing) invited me to join the Marine Energy Mission to China between February 15th and 17th, 2017. The mission visited Qingdao in Shandong Province and Zhoushan in Zhejiang province, two of the three key regions designated by China's central government to test and harness China's marine energy resources.

China is actively developing its approach to marine energy, making this a key juncture at which British companies and universities can make an impactful statement of intent as world leaders in the field.

The visit will provided opportunities to meet key stakeholders in this emerging industry-including prominent State Owned Enterprises looking at investment, innovative private companies, leading research institutions, and key policy makers at the provincial and national level. Qingdao has also indicated specific interest in energy storage and control systems.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.emec.org.uk/ai1ec_event/marine-energy-mission-to-china/?instance_id=
 
Description PRIMARE Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact A delegation of Chinese collaboration partners have visited the University of Exeter during an international conference hosted at Penryn campus. The conference was aimed at marine renwable energy industry and academic sector.
The visit featured presentations from the delegation, a site visit to a marine energy tet site and sparked increased interest and the identification of future collaboration areas.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.primare.org/sites/default/files/PRIMARE%20conference%20timetable.pdf
 
Description Powering the Future - Delivering the UK-China Clean Energy Partnership 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Over 100 attendees from industry and policy decision makers attended this government-level event, organised by RCUK China. It featured ministerial support for offshore energy collaboration. It resulted in strong political support for further offshore energy developments between the UK and China. Moreover, several industrial partners that would benefit from the research were identified.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.epsrc.ac.uk/newsevents/news/poweringthefutureworkshop/