In November 2014, AWS completed the large scale installation of a single membrane type power generating cassette at Lyness quay, Orkney. The purpose of the test was to demonstrate one large scale membrane and the cassette installation concept in a real sea environment.
The test included the design of the membrane and cassette geometry, including a novel backing shell intended to limit membrane strain, the fabrication, transportation, assembly, of the cassette and the commissioning and operation of the system mounted on a concrete barge at Lyness.
During the project, the team developed specialist materials for the membrane, developed and validated numerical models, conducted fatigue and strength tests on membrane joints and developed the modular cassette concept for practical maintenance offshore. We also carried out all the practical aspects of developing the valving, turbine and control systems, modifying the pontoon and completing the marine operations using local vessels.
A key result of the test was actually generating power whilst also gathering data on the membrane durability in a real operational environment.
We also gained valuable information on the environmental impact of our technology-including noise and vibration monitoring. Underwater video cameras showed fish were using the absorber as an artificial reef and were grazing on it.